Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The al Qaeda (AQ) kidnappers of a 73-year-old American have published a letter to the hostage’s family urging them to press the U.S. government to negotiate the release of the captive in exchange for the release of jailed terrorists.
The Arabic and English message for the family of Warren Weinstein, a former American U.S. Agency for International Development worker kidnapped in Lahore, Pakistan in August 2011, came from AQ leader Ayman al-Zawahiri and was published on jihadi forums on Wednesday.
In the message, Zawahiri said the U.S. government has not contacted his group nor made any serious effort to negotiate the release of Weinstein.
“Your government wants Warren Weinstein to die in prison so that it may absolve itself of responsibility regarding his case,” the letter said. “Your continued silence on the inaction of your government will only lead to your prisoner dying a lonely death in prison after this deliberate and prolonged neglect on the part of your government.
herefore, if you want Warren Weinstein to be released, do whatever you can to pressurize your government.”
Responding to the letter, Weinstein’s wife, Elaine, told ABC News in an interview that the message was not satisfactory for not including a photo of the hostage to see his condition.
The kidnappers last released a video of Weinstein in December. His condition is believed to have deteriorated since the time.
Mrs. Weinstein also said the family is powerless to influence Washington, D.C. She also said she was disappointed with her government’s release of five Taliban prisoners in exchange for kidnapped soldier Bowe Bergdahl.
The AQ in Pakistan is demanding the release of Osama Bin Laden’s family, admitted 9/11 facilitator Ramzi Binalshibh and the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of plotting to destroy New York City landmarks.