Warren Weinstein, an American humanitarian aid worker kidnapped by al-Qaeda begged US President Barack Obama to free all al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners in US detention camps, and end airstrikes against forces in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia in exchange for his freedom.
Weinstein, 71 of Rockville, Maryland, was kidnapped August 13, 2011, while in Lahore, Pakistan as director of J.E. Austin Associates, an organization “assisting businesses, governments, non-profit organizations, educational and financial institutions, and other development organizations around the world to improve productivity, to enhance competitiveness, to strengthen management and strategy implementation, and to facilitate economic development.” He had been in country for 5 years when he was taken.
“My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live; if you don’t accept the demands, then I die,” Weinstein was quoted as saying in a video on Sunday by SITE, an organization which tracks al-Qaeda.
Weinstein wore a clean shalwar kameez — the country’s traditional dress — and took bites of food from two large plates of food placed before hime.
NBC news reported that Weinstein is in ill health, with a heart condition.