Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Asia-pacific

US al Qaeda hostage pleads for Obama’s help

© Photo: screen grab

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-27

A 72-year-old American man kidnapped by al Qaeda in Pakistan more than two years ago has called on US President Barack Obama to help secure his freedom in a video released Thursday.

Warren Weinstein, a development worker who was abducted in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011, says in the 13-minute clip he feels “totally abandoned and forgotten” by his government, which has so far refused to negotiate with his captors.

Addressing Obama directly, Weinstein says: “Nine years ago I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here, and now when I need my government it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten.”

“And so I again appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release.”

Weinstein, wearing a grey track suit jacket and black knit hat, looked gaunt and tired as he spoke.

“I am not in good health. I have a heart condition. I suffer from acute asthma... Needless to say I've been suffering deep anxiety every part of every day," he said.

The video, which was accompanied by a letter purporting to be from Weinstein, was sent anonymously to reporters in Pakistan.

Video message from US al Qaeda hostage Warren Weinstein

The video was labelled “As-Sahab”, the name of al Qaeda’s media wing, but its authenticity has not been independently verified, while it is unknown how much of Weinstein's statement, if any, was made under duress or scripted by his captors.

It is the first video of Weinstein to emerge since September 2012, when two clips were released showing the elderly hostage appealing for help from the Jewish community and Israel's prime minister.

Weinstein, from Rockville, Maryland, had been working in Pakistan as the country director for US consultancy firm JE Austin Associates, which advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors.

He was kidnapped from his home in Lahore’s wealthy neighbourhood of Model Town, just two days before he was due to return to the United States.

In exchange for his release, al Qaeda has demanded that the US halt airstrikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen, as well set free al Qaeda and Taliban suspects being held around the world.

However, the US government has stuck by a general policy of not negotiating with kidnappers.

Date created : 2013-12-27

  • PAKISTAN

    Pakistani Taliban pick hardliner Fazlullah as chief

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Le Pen hints at ‘Homeland’ radicalisation of French hostages

    Read more

  • USA - PAKISTAN

    Pakistan’s PM Sharif urges Obama to stop drone strikes

    Read more

COMMENT(S)