ARLINGTON, Va. (WJZ) — An intense search is underway in Pakistan for a Maryland man kidnapped at gunpoint.
Andrea Fujii has more on the abduction and the man’s ties to Maryland.
His home and his wife are here in Maryland but right now only his kidnappers know where he is and if he’s still alive.
In Lahore, Pakistan, investigators search for clues at the site of Saturday’s brazen gunpoint kidnapping of 70-year-old Rockville native Warren Weinstein, a business development consultant who worked in Pakistan for the Virginia-based firm J.E. Austin Associates.
The State Department says the FBI is working with Pakistani police.
“Our priority at the moment is to get this guy back and get him safe,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Law enforcement sources tell CBS News that three hostage-takers came to the front gate of Weinstein’s compound offering food to his three guards and driver. After the guards opened the gate, five other hostage-takers—who had climbed over an unguarded rear entrance—showed up carrying AK-47s and pistols, outgunning the guards. The eight then tied and gagged the guards and used Weinstein’s driver to trick Weinstein into opening the door to his top floor residence.
Weinstein and his wife own a home in Rockville. No one answered the door when we knocked and few neighbors there recall ever meeting Weinstein. Those who have are praying for his safe return.
“It’s really devastating. I can only imagine how she feels, especially with him being gone and all of a sudden this happening,” said a neighbor.
Weinstein, who had been in Pakistan for more than six years, reportedly told his staff before being abducted that he was planning to finish his work and leave Pakistan Monday.
Kidnappings for ransom have become common in Pakistan and anti-American sentiment has run high ever since the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
So far, no group has publicly claimed responsibility or demanded any ransom for Weinstein. The U.S. State Department says another U.S. citizen was abducted from that same city in Pakistan just two months ago.
Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for Pakistan.