May 7th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

U.S. hostage urges Obama to meet al Qaeda demands

The Obama administration is aware of a video of an American hostage urging the president to meet al Qaeda demands so he is not killed, a senior State Department official said Monday, but added that the United States "does not negotiate" for hostages.

Warren Weinstein, 70, makes the emotional to President Barack Obama in a video released on several Islamist websites Sunday.

"My life is in your hands, Mr. President," Weinstein says in the video. "If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, then I die."

Weinstein, a development consultant, was abducted in August from his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore. In December, al Qaeda claimed responsibility for his capture.

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Pakistan • Terrorism
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. raven

    If he was abducted in August, why are they just now making demands? I hope this man is still alive. Note to self: cross Pakistan off of "places to work or visit". Oh, wait, thats BEEN off my list. For YEARS, now.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Optimist

    On the one hand, Warren Weinstein is incredibly naive to be loitering about Pakistan like it's some New York neighborhood. Did he miss the video of Khalid Sheik Mohammed beheading journalist Daniel Pearl? Pakistan, and especially the ethnic Baluchi and Pastu in Lahore, are the center of Al Qaeda sympathy, and Al Qaeda are no friend of jewry.

    On the other hand, just adjacent to this post today is another article, US officials admit to releasing Taliban Prisoners, so there is hope American leadership will talke measures to placate the kidnapper demands.

    Why, after eleven years in Afghanistan, does America have no long term detention plan? What is wrong with detaining Taliban and Al Qaeda in Guantanamo?

    May 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • driveby

      uh oh
      your post may be too large and will be deleted for largeness.
      too bad for you

      May 7, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil Spectre

      New York neighborhood, huh? You'd have to be a real jerk to be in a New York neighborhood.

      May 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |

    I feel for the Guy but as an American he knows full well that our government doesn't negotiate with terrorist
    Sorry but don't give the terrorist ammo by making a plea for your life on video knowing full well it will do no good ..
    There comes a time when you must except your fate with dignity.
    If we give in And show fear just once ...the terrorist win... they don't like our way of life..OK fine...should we change? No..never many people died so we can have our freedoms and we need to defend it even if it means all out war. You peace activists will argue about that but I say again you have the right to do so because of freedom of speach..a freedom won on a battlefield.

    To CNN you cry about freedom of the press yet you delete our comments ..where is our freedom?

    May 7, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Commonsense

      I bet if this was you or a family member, you might have different opnion..

      May 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Afrika

    What does Americas freedom have to do with Gaza being held prisoner? What does Americas freedom have to do with killing innocent Muslims in Muslim countries? Why is every country in a state of crisis/civil war right now a Muslim country? When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1994-2001, opium production dropped by 91%. After the American Invasion, 93% of the worlds opium was coming from Afghanistan..... Which freedoms exactly are you talking about Savior?

    May 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JerseyJeff

      1) The American being held is Weinstein.
      2) America is not in Afghanistan to "kill innocent muslims"
      3) The reason muslim countries are in a state of crisis has more to do with modernizing society, expectations of government responsibility and accountabilty to its citizens.
      4) The taliban curbed opium production by killing them on the spot. Would you like to see American soldiers killing opium growers on the spot? I don't. Would rather see that handled in an Afghan legal framework.

      The USA doesn't negotiate with terrorists and as sad as Mr. Weinstein's story is, I don't think America will or should start now.

      May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAVIOR

      What did the men, women and children of 9/11 have to do with any thing? I'm talking about the freedom to live with out fear of being blown up.the freedom to travel and see the world without worry of getting your head cut off with a dull butter knife.the freedom to chose what God you pray to.the freedom
      The freedom to speak my mind without having to worry about idiots insulting me trying to make their views the only one that matters ..just like the terrorist do..

      May 7, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. gg

    president obama wanted to close guantanamo bay ..but no results yet. i hope it get close soon.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. **cosmicVox *

    Yeah, those Taliban are just a bunch of fun loving criminals, like when they blew up the 1500 year old Buhdda statues.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sponge Bob

    Im tired of hearing (white Americans)use the word FREEDOM, last time i checked you guys never where slaves

    May 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAVIOR

      And I'm sick of black America blaming me for something I didnt do.are you a slave? Have you been one? When did your master free you? Or are you a run away? How many white folks died in the civil war
      .what was that war about!?

      May 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • liu

      Neither were you.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Toby

    Hep me!
    Hep me!
    I'z a runaway massa says he b fixin to whip me.
    Hep me! Hep me!

    May 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • liu

      I have no idea what prmopted this racist tripe, but please go crawl back into your cave and stay there.

      May 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. this!

    How awesome that the lady doesn't know what shes talking about.

    May 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Not Me

    The US has ALWAYS negotiated with terrorists when possible! Oh, it's nice to say the opposite, but it just isn't true at all.

    May 7, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Corner Battles

    So sad that Obama has absolutely no idea what to do in this situation. If he did he would respond by telling them they have to release this United States Citizen immediately or we will unleash Holy Hell upon every al Qaeda post that we have logistics of.
    But that will no way happen with this President... He recently went as for as to deliver $192 million in aid to Palestine, deifying the US congress, who had frozen the aid after their Palestinian leader "defied US pressure and sought to attain UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood last September".
    The U.S. is no longer a world authority or leader... We are now nothing more than welfare aid for third world countries and terrorist nations.
    And oh by the way, this is all with the tax dollars you paid last year!

    May 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. hamsta

    @ corner battles exactly and it happened on obamas watch. that and a long list of other reasons is why the military as a whole despise obama. REASON NO.1 taking credit for the killing of bin laden. if the generals and congress had not prevented obama from closing gitmo and pulling the troops out bin laden would still be hiding in pakistan. REASON NO.2 bush had a chance to get him but congress wouldnt let him enter pakistan. REASON NO.3 obama made such a display of bush and his torture strategy that got valuable information but has no problem using his drones to kill without a fair trial. at least bushes policy allowed prisoners to be put on trial. REASON NO.4 obama is selling off the military as if they will never be needed again. REASON NO.5 ocma is negotiating with terrorists emboldening the enemy. one of the demands made by the hostage of al qaeda is to release the taliban prisoners from gitmo. he has secretly done so and clagms that he isnt negotiating with al qaeda. secrets out hes busted.

    May 8, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sponge Bob

    America is full of false patriotism!!!

    May 8, 2012 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. JerseyJeff

    I really do feel terrible for Mr. Weinstein and I wish his family strength at this difficult time.

    That being said, I unfortunately think the pragmatic, intelligent and overall humane policy decision is to not negotiate.

    If the USA begins to negotiate, there will be many more Warren's that will be kidnapped for bigger and more outlandish demands.

    I wish Warren strength and I hope he can understand that if his government negotiated, there would be many more Americans in his position and that can't happen.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |