American Kidnapped in Pakistan Urges Israeli Help

Posted September 13th, 2012 at 3:40 am (UTC-5)
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An American kidnapped in Pakistan last year is appealing to Israel's prime minister to help secure his release.

Gunmen kidnapped 71-year-old Warren Weinstein from his home in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore in August of 2011, just days before he was scheduled to return to the United States.

In a video posted on the Internet Wednesday, Weinstein purportedly says President Barack Obama and the U.S. government have “shown no interest” in his case. He appeals to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “one Jew to another, to please intervene on my behalf” and to accept the demands of his captors.

Al-Qaida claims to be holding the American consultant and is said to be demanding an end to U.S. airstrikes in Muslim countries and the release of Taliban and al-Qaida-linked prisoners in American custody.

In the video, Weinstein sits on a chair in front of a camouflage background. He is wearing a white T-shirt. His captives are not visible. Weinstein says, “I am a father of two daughters, I have a wife, I am a grandfather, and I was hoping that I would again be able to see my family alive.”

The authenticity of the video can not be verified. SITE — the U.S.-based group that tracks the online activity of terrorist groups said the video was posted by al-Qaida's media arm, al-Sahab.

In May, the White House responded to another online video message from Weinstein by saying that the United States “cannot and will not” negotiate with al-Qaida. White House spokesman Jay Carney said there is great concern for Weinstein's safety and that U.S. officials are working to locate the consultant.

Weinstein served as director in Pakistan of a U.S.-based development consulting company, J.E. Austin Associates. His family has repeatedly appealed for his release, citing concerns about his health.