Warren Weinstein said he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten" by the Obama administration in the video.
By REBECCA SANTANA, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD (AP) - A 72-year-old American development worker who was
kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago appealed to
President Obama in a video released Thursday to negotiate his release,
saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten."
The video of Warren Weinstein was the first since two videos released
in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E.
Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani
business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the
eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.
In the video sent Thursday to reporters in Pakistan including The
Associated Press, Weinstein called on the U.S. government to negotiate
"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, and now when I
need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and
forgotten," Weinstein said during the 13-minute video. "And so I again
appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my
The video and an accompanying letter purported to be from Weinstein
was emailed anonymously to reporters in Pakistan. The video was labelled
"As-Sahab," which is al-Qaida's media wing, but its authenticity could
not be independently verified. The letter was dated Oct. 3, 2013 and in
the video Weinstein said he had been in captivity for two years.
In the video, Weinstein wore a grey track suit jacket and what
appeared to be a black knit hat on his head. His face was partially
covered with a beard.
Al-Qaida has said Weinstein would be released if the U.S. halted
airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and also demanded
the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.
The White House has called for Weinstein's immediate release but has said it won't negotiate with al-Qaida.
The videos last year showed Weinstein appealing for help from the Jewish community and Israel's prime minister.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All
rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.
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