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. Trevor A. Lane

    Cowards kidnapping a 70 year old man, whom was in retirement. Your almost as worse as those Al-Shabab terrorists whom kidnapped a french woman in a wheelchair. Shame on you, shall justice be served to you in this life or the next....

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

      I agree, but who said he was retired??

      December 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Illustrious Potentate

    The ol'food for Ramadan gag,eh? They'll probably torture him with Shecky Green albums and a water-squirting flower..oh,the HUMANITY!!!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. warrior

    Hmmm....Wienstein (Jewish) gets kidnapped by an Arab terror organization. Wow, big surprise

    December 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ToHelpPakisNotHinder


    December 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Junggg

    They equate the kidnapping of someone who has provided aid to their country for decades to the capture of armed militants. That's just about all you need to know about their mindset.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Walloftruth

    A 70-year old man or wheelchair-bound woman is about all they handle, I'm afraid. Anyone more physically capable and these gutless bullies would run cryin' to mama, like usual.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Boogie

    Why is Ayman al-Zawahiri still alive?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jack 63

    One more dead terrorist leader coming right up!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I hope we get clear video of this one

      December 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |

    December 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tOpDaWgUnVmE

    Who cares? We're completely in the wrong for being there in the first place...unfortunately we deserve what ever happens while we're in their country. How would American citizens react if our country were torn apart by a constant fraudulent war and we were being shot, killed, and labeled as insurgents rather than freedom fighters?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Portland

      Drink bleach....

      December 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MazeAndBlue

      Your screen name is suspect!!!! Duck!!!!!!!!!

      December 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LouAz

    Al Qaeda has kidnapped AMERICA ! Seems we can only respond with more high tech weaponry like F-35s and nuclear aircraft carriers. We need P-47s and P-51s, and some Toyota pickups with 50 cals mounted in the bed. Can't even make napalm anymore . . .

    December 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dike

    why even provide aid to terrorist nations like Pakistan?

    December 1, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. abudum

    No more cowardly than getting your butt kicked in a ground war and calling in air support to cowards dropping bombs from miles above.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • MazeAndBlue

      Here is another one!!!! Duck.....

      December 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. hawaiiduude

    media calls him an american but he is also an israeli citizen xionist juw. With the atrocities israelis are commiting agains palestinians he is a representation of the satan anti-jesus.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LouAz

      Hey Jeebus was a jue, and he was an Isra . . . oops, he seems to be a uniquely American citizen. Sorry.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Portland

      hawaiiduumb@$$ – Nice anti-semitism. You're obviously not biased at all are you?

      December 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • MazeAndBlue

      duck fool

      December 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. american

    Of course we feel sorry for the poor ol guy however he had to have know the risk he was taking .
    My question now is "was it worth it"?

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