Kidnapped Jewish U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein said he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten" by the U.S. government and urged President Barack Obama to negotiate his freedom in a 13-minute video message released on Christmas by al-Qaeda.
Weinstein, 72, was abducted in Lahore, Pakistan in 2011. According to police reports at the time, eight to 10 men approached Weinstein’s house on a ploy, tied up Weinstein’s three guards, and took him away. At the time of his capture, Weinstein had been working in Pakistan for several years as a director of J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based development contractor that advises different Pakistani business and government sectors.
"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," he said on this latest of a string of video messages released since his kidnapping, CNN reported. "And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten…Needless to say, I've been suffering deep anxiety every part of everyday, not knowing what is happening to my family and not knowing how they are and because I am not with them."
U.S. officials have have continued to indicate that the U.S. government does not plan to bargain with al Qaeda. “At least they show he is alive, and that must give us hope,” Mike Redwood, a leather industry expert who worked with Weinstein in Pakistan, wrote to JNS.org in 2012. “Despite his age Warren is one of the cleverest and most resourceful people I know, but his capture has come at the most dreadful moment to hope for much cooperation between the governments of Pakistan and the USA.”