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. American

    Really need HR 3013 bill to pass....please check and give your support. Our own money is being used against us when we give a penny to Pakistan. Starve them out, let them beg for money for a quarter or so, then use the situation to have them exterminate their own people. HR 3013 please!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • brad

      looks like he should have kept his but here in America instead of going where they hate us.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave in Portland

      brad – So you're saying that humanitarians and social workers deserve whatever they get while working to make things better in countries that are hostile to the U.S.?

      If that is indeed what you meant, I hope that some day you need help and there is nobody there to help you.

      December 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      So this is now all that they are capable of doing anymore ......taking a 70 year old man. This organization has truely lost their bite.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. WildWest

    Well, sounds like we need to increase drone strikes in the area.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • sadie456

      Drone strikes against whom, exactly? Anybody in Pakistan? One American gets kidnapped, and you want to kill inncent people? Drone strikes are already a major source of anti-American feeling in Pakistan, precisely because of the quaintly-named 'collateral damage'. Anyone who thinks it is o.k to kill 20 civilians in order to take out 1 'suspected' insurgent needs a lesson in geo-politics, not to mention morality.

      December 1, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Templar111

    Send in the carpet bombs!!!!

    December 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. manuel rodriguez

    Just let every one on this list start to have bad accidents "sorry only pork chops and wine this week" " you going to tell me you did not see the stairs in the dark?" sorry i try to shoot the spider on your leg" " and you will see how fast they release him and if by accident they start dying the better.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • hope


      December 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emanuel Bermudez

      No they would just video tape him as they slowly kill him. I think its funny how they demand so much for one guy. If they were bold and captured a world leader, then maybe.

      December 1, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Reggie from LA

    But I thought that Pakistan was neck-deep aiding Ayman al-Zawahiri's fallen brother Osama Bin Laden.
    @Boogie asked "Why is Ayman al-Zawahiri still alive?" Good question. Mwahahaha.
    @tOpDaWgUnVmE, Al Qaeda is not Afghanistan or are you insinuating that they are "paid by Afghanistan?"

    December 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Charles

    al-Qaida is mad because we supply AID to Pakistan?
    Yeah, that makes sense... NOT!

    December 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • hope


      I'm mad we supply aid to Pakistan!

      December 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Locke

    This is not cool we need to save this man he is a fellow American and we need to kill all the terroists so we can end this!

    December 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hope

    It's so typical of this jerk to take credit... and his demands? Outrageous! He's starved for attention in a dying cause.

    December 1, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Yup

    Send in 6

    December 1, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    Any & all who are remotely connected to helping Pakistan are declared enemies of Al-Qaeda. Its therefore reasonable to assume that Americans would no longer be their enemies since we are now in a war like mode with Pakistan.

    December 1, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • hope

      That doesn't change my mind...

      Remember, who we're dealing with. Educated but not smart by any means.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SEAL

    50 bucks says seal team six is gonna blow this guys head off with a barret m107 and bring their hostage back.

    December 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    Well we have thousands of seasoned troops and all the gear there and that too for the past decade, they should be able to do the job. Do we need Seals on top of that ?

    December 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. hope


    Why feed the mouth that bites you, or in this case shoots you?

    Baaad Dog!

    December 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. saywhat

    Sure @ Seal. A trillion dollars & counting down that sink hole, whats another 50 bucks.

    December 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    It took us ten plus years & thousands of American lives to get OBL ( if we really got the right hood), perhaps we get this Zawahiri thug another ten years on.

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