U.S. contractor held in Pakistan pleads for help
An American contractor kidnapped by al-Qaida in Pakistan two years ago appears in a video that surfaced on Thursday, pleading with President Obama to negotiate for his release and saying he feels “totally abandoned.”
Warren Weinstein, who was snatched from his home in Lahore in August 2011, appears weary and dejected in the 13-minute video bearing the stamp of As-Sahab, al-Qaida's media operation.
“I am not in good health. I have a heart condition. I suffer from acute asthma,” Weinstein, 72, says in the video clip emailed to several journalists covering South Asia, including The Associated Press. “Needless to say, I've been suffering deep anxiety every part of every day.”
At the time of his kidnapping, Weinstein was working as Pakistan country director for J.E. Austin Associates, a contractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“Mr. President, for the majority of my adult life, for over 30 years, I've served my country,” Weinstein says in the video. “Now, when I need my government, it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten.”
The video was accompanied by a letter purportedly written by Weinstein and dated Oct. 3, in which he expresses dismay that his situation has been ignored by the media as well as the U.S. government. The missive pleads for renewed attention to his plight to prevent his being forgotten and becoming “another statistic.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement that her office was working to authenticate the letter and video.
“We reiterate our call that Warren Weinstein be released and returned to his family,” the statement added.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pakistan could put nukes on new submarines sold by China
- Slain editor’s book condemns ‘Islamophobia’
- Al-Qaida exploits chaos in Yemen, seizing weapons depot
- Report: Iraqi security forces kill Saddam aide al Douri, but DNA will confirm
- Obama, Congress strike deal on emerging nuclear pact with Iran
- Unilateral Obama sanction relief for Iranians possible
- Afghan president admits he’s losing troops to ISIS
- ‘Birth tourism’ business booming in China
- Execution of Islamist party official sparks outrage in Bangladesh
- Pope’s Armenian ‘genocide’ stance angers Turkey
- Pair of Egypt attacks aimed at security officers