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. vtguy

    The Tali sand jockeys are desperate. This guy was helping them.. Sort of cutting your own nose off...... the more we hear and learn about their culture, the more it looks like they are cowards... pouring acid on woman's faces, not letting woman drive, vote. This Allah crap is soooo convoluted.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ToHelpPakisNotHinder

      JE Assocs initiative, PISDAC, has arranged over $100M in aid to Pakistan since 2008. So, what do Pakis do? They kidnap a staff member! Clearly, Pakis are nuts. Dumb move. If I were a Paki I'd deal with this nut job kidnapper and free my country. This 70-year-old was there to HELP, not HINDER. Morons. Time to drop a bomb.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. m

    If the Paki ties to Al-Qaeda are strong as reported it should be no problem getting him released.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jake

    Bad move visiting Pakistan or should it be Crazyistan

    December 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James PDX

    Better hide all of your elderly, decrepit and handicapped. Al-Zawahiri is on a rampage and looking for someone, anyone, whose butt he can kick. He better keep those 8 kidnappers handy, though. Weinstein looks like he could kick Al's hind end with his hands tied behind his back, which is probably how cowardly Al will make him fight.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jake

    Maybe Obama can get on his knees to the Pakis and get this guy release in time for the next election.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Manny

      Sounds like you know all about "getting on your knees"

      December 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • sameeker

      Thanks to Obama and his decisive actions, al quida can't seem to keep leaders very long. We will get that crackpot soon.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Crobuzon

      Three Words: Seal Team Six.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • skarphace

      If that is all it would take, would it not be prudent to do if it could save a life? Remember, even Jesus got down on his knees to wash the feet of his disciples. Is our President better than Jesus? I would say no. Therefore, I would be proud of our President if he got Weinstein released with just words and nothing else.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ahab

      Ummmmm... Who got Bin Laden and how? Go crawl back under your rock, GOP apologist...

      December 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • skarphace

      Er .. my response was assuming that you were talking about getting down on his knees to beg. If you were talking about the other, then you are a sick, sick man and you need some serious psychological help. Go see a doctor.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snark Charmer

      Meanwhile, John McCain is falling asleep in his soup, and Sarah Palin is roasting a woodchuck. If you don't like Obama, just remember when those two were pretending they could do the job.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. george

    Sign of desperation kidnapping an old, helpless man for ransom. I spit on you, Zawahiri guy. You should at least show respect for the elderly just like yourself. Does Islam teach respect for the elderly? Someone please tell me.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snark Charmer

      They practically admit they are terrified of our soldiers and hold them in supernatural awe, so they attack civilians and then scurry away like roaches. It's not any more admirable to most Muslims than it is to us. A lot of people who cheered when they saw the towers burning stopped cheering the next day when they found it was a bunch of clerks dying instead of soldiers. Their main complaint about us is that we often bomb civilians by mistake; it's a coward's act and they admit it.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    Justin- You think we are cowards? Clearly you have never served your Country and you probably think you are to be given everything in life. I suppose you still live at home with your parents with no plan in life who was picked on at shool alot growing up and im assuming you've maybe had 1 girl friend in your life. Before you knock us do something.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheik Milkshake

      COWARD. Save your whining for the Marines who are going to kick down your doors soon enough. .

      December 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Russ

    I could never figure out whey they call people who are our enemies "cowards" for doing things to us. Granted, the things that terrorists do are horrible, but it takes a lot of courage to fly a plane into a building or blow yourself up, misguided as it may be. They should come up with another way to describe them. Bill Mahr said the same thing after 9/11 and he was lambasted for it. I think he was right, as much as I despise those who did it, and am very saddened by the loss of life.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Crobuzon

      The Norway shooter, like Eric Rudolph, is spending his life behind bars because he stuck up for what he believed. They were 'brave' and risked death, just so they could hurt people who disagreed with them politically. That kind of brave you can take and roll up lengthwise and shove up your fundament.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sheik Milkshake

    F that, let's go in there guns blazing, these punks need to learn a lesson. HOO-RAH

    December 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • driranek

      Go in where, exactly?

      December 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Herkimer Schwartz

    Oh, doesn't that make you so proud. Kidnapping a 70 year old man.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Johnmac

    Give him the old OBL move. Keep the carrier warmed uo!!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. cured76

    Stop airstrikes and release all prisoners? Yeah, that's going to work, smart guy. If you meant INCREASE airstrikes, you will probably achieve that goal.

    It seems he's in Pakistan, too, and I wouldn't have a problem with Obama signing off on an order like the one that got bin Laden on this guy.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Three Dog

      Right on Brother

      December 2, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Karen L. Reimer

    Why is this news now if it happened in August?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snark Charmer

      They just now admitted it was them.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. onoudint

    Those contractors over there know they are targets from the get-go, but they choose that life out of greed. He should be a good American, tell them to go to h**l and let them do their worst, so we don't have to try to save his 70 year old butt by negotiating in any way with those animals.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Three Dog

    We need to think about the Man Over The Mission. Is the life of one man worth the life of thousands? If we stop strikes, they could organize and come up with a plan to attack American citizens, and actually carry out the plan. Those airstrikes are also valuable for ending the lifes of terrorist leaders.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
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