Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri has claimed that his organization is holding a 70-year-old American aid worker which they claim was abducted in Pakistan in August, and issued a series of demands for his release.
He claimed this in a video message posted on militant websites, in which he said Warren Weinstein would be released if the United States stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
He also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.
Ayman al-Zawahri said , ”Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al Qaeda and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who is neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the 1970s”.
Weinstein was abducted by armed men from his house in the eastern city of Lahore on 13 August 2011. Police and US officials have not publicly said who they believed was holding him, but Islamist militant groups were the main suspects.
Weinstein, who has a home in Rockville, Maryland, worked in Pakistan for several years and spoke Urdu.
He was the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a US-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors.