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. George Patton

    I will now steal someone's name and post something boring, inane, and Anti-American.

    This kind of article is just mt cup of tea.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      This action makes Zawahiri look like the pathetic loser that he truly is. He is a weak, old man.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dutch Cartoon Fan

      @ Leif -Very true.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • us1776

      al-Qaeda is DEAD and this pathetic action just proves it.

      Ok, al-Zawahiri there's another 350,000,000 million of us.

      Have a nice day.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. The Thing From Uranus

    Those right wing thugs in Washington should not have sent someone named Weinstein to Pakistan in the first place!!

    December 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rog

      Yeah plenty of 'right-winger' people in power right now, like President sure he's definitely a ringer-wing politician.

      December 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dan

    NEWS FLASH – Americans.......Pakistan is not a safe place to work or travel!!!

    December 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • gratular

      Correction, Americans are not safe anywhere, not even in America, but especially overseas in countries that they have had a hand in destroying..

      December 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tewrobert

    I always wondered why they sent Danny Pearl to pakistan........I think I now know why......
    Nothing like starting some crap eh?

    December 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pacoatemiami

    Look how far the mighty Al Qaeda has fallen! Ten years ago they were able to crash planes into multiple targets in the U.S., now their leader is bragging about kidnapping one 70-year-old American citizen in Pakistan? I am embarrased for them.

    December 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • FauxNewz

      Yep, next they will be stealing Girl Scout cookies and getting front page press coverage.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMW

      i agree!!!!

      December 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan Bowen

    Wow, they got a 70 yr old man...what next, baby kittens?

    December 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      They will tie Weinstein to a pole, blindfold him, and indescriminently hurl massive cotton-balls at him (some of them dipped in water...eeeeeewwww), while simultaneously making rude remarks about his mother.

      These people are vicious animals.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cody

    Funny... for being so strict in their faith, they would use it as a mere tool to kidnap somebody. I hope no Muslims really believ that Al-Qaeda cares at all about Islam. They'd use Ramahdan has a means to kidnap people...

    December 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Reasonable1

    If you are a non-muslim, how delusional would one have to be to go to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Especially if you have a Jewish name like Weinstein??

    December 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      do you know how many isrealis and jews do business in pakistan?

      December 2, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. Johnny wazhere

    War, killing, torture, murder, that is what is going on in the world and with no end in sight. When can the whole world live in peace. When can people tolerate each other? When do we listen to each other instead of killing each other? When?When?When?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      When there is no religon!

      December 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big_D

    They should suspend all aid to Pakistan until this man is returned effective immediately. If Pakistan wants to be a partner they better start doing some work!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Duane

    Kidnapping a 70 year old man.....what a tough guy

    December 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Alex Winter

    Wow you sure are tough pistol whipping a 70 year old man.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Big_D

    What could be more pathetic than kidnapping an old man?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dewdius Maximus

    Weinstein is seen here posing with Howard Stern, shoe-bomber Richard Reid and a nice visiting couple from Minneapolis.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcus

      LOL. Good call.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cajunman

      LMAO you hit the nail on the head....Howard Stern. HAHAHAhhahahah

      December 1, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Big_D

    So they beat on women and they kidnap old men and hide behind children. Al Qaeda is a cowards club.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
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