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. Pete/Ark

    The mantra of ALL terrorists (regardless of thier origins) is "no good dead goes unpunished".

    December 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      fumble fingers...meant DEED

      December 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • GemKnightTaric

      Crazy stuff.

      December 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. saywhat

    @ hope

    Perhaps the sarcastic take on the current situation on the ground in my 4:42 escaped your attention.

    What aid to Pakistan/? Of the 7.5 billion aid to Pakistan over the next 5 years approved by Congress in 2009 we have hardly paid them 300 million so far. And that too for fighting a war for us, not out of our love for them.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • hope


      I was referring to the 11 billion dollars that Hillary Clinton pledged to them for humanitarian purposes a few weeks ago.

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

    @ Pete/Ark

    No problem even 'dead' would do. The way things go there.

    December 1, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete/Ark

      ...think that's thier point ?

      December 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marine5484

    Maybe this could lead to negotiations between the U.S. and Al Qaeda but I'm afraid that the right-wingers in Washington won't let it happen since far too many people are making money out of this so-called "war on terror". They just don't want any end to this. We sorely need a new President like Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • chrissy

      Very well said, Marine5484. Thank you. I completely agree.

      December 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      These wars have been gold mines for our elected leaders. It is destabilized Iraq afghanistan pakistan and soon iran. This starting to look like usa doesnt want india and china to have peace in that region.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
    • saywhat

      @ marine 5484

      I agree completely. Its no secret that we have been trying to engage Talibans in a dialogue for some time now which is now an imperative with no viable exit strategy.

      @ George Patton
      The neo-cons wittingly or otherwise, working against American geo-political interests continue whipping up Islamophobia & conjuring up Islamic conspiracy thories.

      December 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chillipepper

    I would never set foot in the middle east as a civilian. You have to be brain dead to do so.

    December 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Trixster

    Your posts are boring.

    December 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Catstevens

    Is-lame means piece! A piece of you here a piece of you there and the rest way over there! All-ah-snack-bar!

    December 1, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |

    Hey Taliban! And all you other freaks of the universe! GO F U C K YOURSELVE'S! F U C K I N P U S S I E'S

    December 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Anyone with half a brain would that whoever posted the above is a Tea Partier by his using his own choice of words. Now I expect to be trolled again pretty soon!

      December 1, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. George Patton

    It's funny just how all these uneducated Tea Partiers hate the Muslims. By posting their anti-Islam drivel on this web page, they're only displaying their ignorance about the Middle East. I bet that most of them don't even know what the Muslims believe. Unfortunately, they do know how to troll people like me by stealing my name and then to post their ignorance under it!!!

    December 1, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lola Bunch

    Geaorge Patton, your posts are boring.
    So are yours, Marine5484.

    December 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lola Bunch

    Stop trolling chrissy. She would never agree with a dolt like you.

    December 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wakeups

    WOW, 8 armed assailants kidnap ONE seventy year old man who's purpose in being in the country was to provide expert opinion on industry and infrastructure. AND the kidnappers used a Ramadan tradition to perpetrate the crime. Who has the moral high ground here? Never underestimate the power of religious brainwashing.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      At least this Waren Weinstein is still alive. Back on May 2 last, the memebers of the Navy Seal Team 6 just shot the purported Ussama bin Laden down like a dog, although he suffered from nephritis. These thugs could have taken him alive quite easily, but didn't!!!

      December 2, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. salman

    as a pakistani-american, i urge the al-qaeda to release mr. weinstein unharmed, or there will be consequences.

    December 1, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jack

    Why would the American admin. allow an American jew to work in Pakistan? This guy needs hie head examined. Pure nuts!

    December 2, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tactical Conflict Management Solutions


    December 2, 2011 at 3:18 am | Report abuse |
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