Friday, December 27, 2013

Pakistan: Update--Authenticity of Kidnapped USAID Contractor's Video-Clip Being Evaluated

According to The Associated Press, the US government is investigating the authenticity of a video-clip in which US Agency for International Development institutional contractor Warren Weinstein, 72, kidnapped by al-Qaeda in Lahore in 2011.

The announcement was made Thursday (December 26) by the US State Department in a short communique in which it simply demanded once again the release of Warren Weinstein, who was working under a USAID contract for VA-based JE Austin Associates Inc. 

The aging Weinstein had lived and worked in Pakistan for nearly nine years when he was kidnapped the day before his departure back home. He was the country director for JE Austin at the time of his abduction.

COMMENT: The video, which comes a year after al-Qaeda released another similar video-clip in which Weinstein asked for his release, was sent by e-mail to several journalists in Pakistan, along with a letter presumably written by the contractor.

“Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here,” he said. “And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten.”

“I am, therefore, appealing to you, on a humanitarian basis, if nothing else, in asking that you take the necessary actions to expedite my release and my return to my family and to my country. Our country,” the 72-year-old Weinstein said, addressing President Barack Obama.

It is noteworthy to point out that the gunmen who kidnapped Weinstein from his residence in Lahore on August 13, 2011, obviously knew that the American was scheduled to leave for the US the very next day, an indicator that al-Qaeda researches their targets very, very well.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.