Al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri claims responsibility for kidnapping American
Warren Weinstein, left, was abducted August 13 in Lahore, Pakistan.
December 1st, 2011
02:33 PM ET

Al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri claims responsibility for kidnapping American

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for the capture in August of a 70-year-old American citizen in Pakistan, according to SITE, a website that monitors terrorist threats.

"Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al Qaeda and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who is neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the '70s," al-Zawahiri said, according to SITE.

The al Qaeda leader also listed demands that needed to be met before he would release Warren Weinstein. The demands included the ending of airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also added that Muslim prisoners including Abu Musab al-Suri, the "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdul Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, Sayyid Nosair, and the family of Osama bin Laden must also be released.

Police have arrested three suspects in the kidnapping of Weinstein, a development expert from the United States who was snatched August 13 in his home in Lahore, Pakistan, a police official said.

The official asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad said she was not aware of any arrests.

Weinstein was abducted August 13 when gunmen, posing as neighbors offering food, pistol-whipped him and his driver and tied up his guards, U.S. Embassy and Pakistani officials said.

Weinstein works for J.E. Austin Associates Inc., a U.S. consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia, a Pakistani official said. He is a world-renowned development expert, with 25 years of experience, according to his company's website. The site says he was heading what the company described as the "Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness."

As Weinstein's security guards prepared for the meal before the Ramadan fast, three men knocked at the front gate and offered food for the meal - a traditional practice among Muslims during the Ramadan holy month, according to senior Lahore police official Tajamal Hussain.

Once the gate was opened, the three men forced their way in, while five other suspects entered the house from the back, Hussain said. The men tied up the three security guards and duct-taped their mouths, he said. They pistol-whipped the driver and forced him to take them to Weinstein's room where the men hit Weinstein in the head with a pistol, and forced him out of the house and into a waiting car, Hussain said.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Pakistan • Terrorism
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Tactical Conflict Management Solutions

    Sniff, sniff, sniff...

    December 2, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. michaelfury

    So who kidnapped this guy?

    December 2, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  3. Mercenary for Hire

    You know what? I think it's high-time someone sends Ayman al-Zawahiri a pineapple for Christmas, and I sure as heck ain't talkin' 'bout the fruit, if you get my drift !!!!

    December 2, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. hope

    @ Mercenary:

    That's funny, but it's not...

    The way these criminals use religion to adhere people to their political idealation is dishonoring to both. The way in which they lured the guards into opening their gates to a gift of mercy undermines their religious practices and puts religion and our right to practice it in a bad light.

    Obviously, these terrorists weren't concerned about any religious backlash because they frequently dabble in a religious-state. Perhaps it is because of this distinction between our societies that we find their acts of war so threatening and underhanded. Placing religious leaders in the center of a controversy is used as a weapon far too often. Accusing such leaders of spying or their mercenaries of undermining their political base is common practice with Christians suffering grave consequences. To us it's a joke. But, to them, it's a threat.

    December 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    @ chillipepper

    Afghanistan is not Middle East neither is Pakistan and there is a war going on in that region for the past decade.
    Middle East is full of foreigners having the time of their lives. Go visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain & other Gulf states or even Egypt and you see that. Dubai is now almost a retirement community for the Europeans.

    December 2, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndependentThinker

      Dubai is the new Babylon. Just one of many fulfillments that have happened already in the march towards EOT. This year will see the rest of them done. Coincidence has no leg to stand on here.

      December 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Karl

    I know it's impossible to put a value on a human life, but al-Z has at least given us a "human exchange" rate: apparently one American is worth roughly a dozen Muslims. Now I'm no Muslim hater, but I wonder if Muslims realize how cheap their lives are according to al-Z... or at least how expensive one American is on the "al-Qa'ida Human Exchange"?

    December 2, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mabior

      I'm a Whitney Houston fan and all her songs r good but the one that I keep on heavy rootaitn is The Preacher Wife album.

      February 12, 2012 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
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