Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s new insight into the frightening abduction of a Marylander in Pakistan. Why would Al-Qaeda target him and hold him captive?
Mike Hellgren investigates what the terror group has to gain.
Warren Weinstein is a prisoner of Al-Qaeda and that terrifies those who know the Marylander, who was abducted violently last August in Pakistan, where he worked.
“It’s gut-wrenching. I mean, I can’t imagine if it was my husband or son captured. The poor families that have to go through this; the unknown is so frightening,” said neighbor Pat Bavaro.
“Oh my goodness. Especially since he was coming home. This was his last assignment,” said family friend Elsie Sullivan.
The terrorist group, which has weakened in influence since the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden, is using Weinstein to make big demands.
“Including the end of all air strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan and all other Muslim countries, as well as the release of all prisoners in Guantanamo Bay,” said Mandy Clark, CBS News.
He worked for a company based in the United States that advised businesses all over Pakistan.
Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s new leader, said, “Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who has been neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the 1970s.”
He also referred in Weinstein’s Jewish heritage.
In 2002, Al-Qaeda murdered U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl, saying his Jewish identity justified his killing.
Jere Van Dyk knows the terror all too well. He was abducted by militants in Pakistan three years ago.
“Right now, he’s completely terrified. He’s lost all sense of masculinty, all sense of being in control,” Van Dyk said.
And his family in Maryland can only hope against long odds for his safe return.
Weinstein has a wife and children here in Maryland. He’s in his 70s and has several medical problems.