American al-Qaeda Hostage: US Has 'Abandoned' Me

Held in Pakistan since 2011, Warren Weinstein appeals for Obama's help

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 26, 2013 6:54 AM CST | Updated Dec 26, 2013 7:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Little has been heard of US government worker Warren Weinstein, abducted in Pakistan in 2011, since al-Qaeda released a video of the hostage last year. Now, he's resurfaced to plead again for President Obama to meet his captors' demands via a new video in which he "looked ashen and sounded lethargic," the Washington Post reports. "When I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten," the 72-year-old Maryland native said in the video, per the AP. "And so I again appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release."

While the Obama administration has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaeda, a State Department rep says it is trying to authenticate the video—it's not clear when it was made but an attached note was dated Oct. 3—adding, "We reiterate our call that Warren Weinstein be released and returned to his family." Meanwhile, Weinstein said he's suffering from a heart condition and acute asthma. "The years have taken their toll," he added. Al-Qaeda previously demanded Washington release its imprisoned members and stop airstrikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Yemen, in exchange for Weinstein.

This Jan. 6, 2009 file image shows Warren Weinstein.
This Jan. 6, 2009 file image shows Warren Weinstein.   (AP Photo/Mike Redwood, File)
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