ISLAMABAD (AP) — A 71-year-old American aid worker kidnapped over a year ago in Pakistan asked Israel’s prime minister for help in meeting al-Qaida’s demands so that he could be freed, in a new video released by the group Wednesday.
Warren Weinstein did not specify what those demands were, although previous al-Qaida conditions for his release have included the freeing of militant suspects and a halt to U.S. airstrikes.
The aid worker said President Barack Obama and the American government “have shown no interest in my case.” He appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for help “as one Jew to another,” asking him to accept the militant group’s demands so he could return to his family.
He did not specify in his statement how the Israeli leader could end U.S. airstrikes or have militant suspects around the world released.
Weinstein spoke while sitting down in front of a camouflage background. He wore a white T-shirt. His captors were not visible.
The video was posted on the Internet by al-Qaida’s media arm, Al-Sahab, according to IntelCenter, a U.S.-based group that monitors media websites. It contained the Al-Sahab logo.
Weinstein was abducted last August in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore after gunmen tricked his guards and broke into his home. He was the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors.
Al-Qaida issued a video last December in which the group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, said the American would be released if the U.S. stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Al-Zawahri also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world.
In May, Weinstein appeared in another video in which he said he would be killed unless President Barack Obama agreed to al-Qaida’s demands.
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