By Jim Kouri
Al-Qaeda’s top commander Ayman al- Zawahiri is claiming responsibility for the abduction of a U.S. citizen in Pakistan, an anonymous U.S. intelligence told the Law Enforcement Examiner.
The victim is identified as 70-year old Warren Weinstein, who is a development expert contracted by the U.S. Department of State’s Agency for International Development (USAID) . He was kidnapped on August 13 from his lodging in Lahore, Pakistan.
According to al-Zawahiri, just as the United States [sic] “detain all whom they suspect of links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, al-Qaeda has detained Weinstein who is neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the seventies.”
The al-Qaeda leader, who took over command following the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy Seals, also listed demands that needed to be met before he would release Weinstein. The demands included the ending of U.S. airstrikes and drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.
Al-Zawahiri also demanded the release of prisoners being held for terrorist crimes, including Abu Musab al-Suri, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, Sayyid Nosair, and others. The Blind Sheikh is currently serving life in prison in the U.S. for his part in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
According to the Law Enforcement Examiner source, Weinstein works for J.E. Austin Associates Inc., a U.S. consulting firm that has several contracts with USAID. He is said to be a well-respected and successful development expert, with 25 years of experience, according to his company’s website.
Weinstein’s employers announced that he is in poor health and released a list of Weinstein’s medications so that the terrorists could provide his “medical necessities.”
On August 13, 2011, Weinstein’s security detail was in the process preparing their meal before fasting the Ramadan holy days. As they prepared their food, three men reportedly knocked at the front entrance to the compound and offered food.
The suspected terrorists then captured the bodyguards and forced them to divulge Weinstein’s location. The intruders then abducted Weinstein and drove off in a waiting car.
Some newspapers in the region also claim that the Pakistani police arrested three suspects linked to the Weinstein kidnapping, but the U.S. government has not released any statements.