Al Qaeda has released its first video of Warren Weinstein, an American citizen who was kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2011. In the videotape, Weinstein pleaded with US President Barack Obama to submit to al Qaeda’s demands to ensure his release before he is killed.
The videotape, which was produced by As Sahab, al Qaeda’s propaganda department, and released on jihadist websites yesterday, is titled “A Message from the Prisoner Warren Weinstein to His President.” In the video, Weinstein directly addresses Obama, and begs for the president to accept al Qaeda’s terms for his release.
“And I’d like to talk to President Obama and ask him – beg him – that he accept and respond to the demands of the mujahideen, for my life is in your hands, Mr. President,” Weinstein said, according to a transcript of his statement which was provided by the SITE Intelligence Group. “If you accept the demands, I live; if you don’t accept the demands, then I die. It’s important you accept the demands and act quickly and don’t delay. They’ll be no benefit in delaying, it will just make things more difficult for me.”
Weinstein appealed to Obama as a father, and then claimed the president is “not paying any attention or care about my problem or my needs.”
Weinstein, who is 70 years old, was clearly under duress. He has been in captivity since he was kidnapped in his home in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Aug. 13, 2011. He worked for J.E. Austin Associates, where he directed development projects.