Reporting Vic Carter
WASHINGTON (WJZ)—A Maryland man held hostage in Pakistan is now begging President Barack Obama for help in a new video released by al-Qaeda.
Vic Carter reports the emotional plea comes nine months after Warren Weinstein was kidnapped.
Not seen or heard from in nine months, Weinstein surfaced on an al-Qaeda website, pleading to President Obama to save him.
“My life is in your hands Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don’t accept the demands I die,” Weinstein said in the video.
Despite their concern about the 70-year-old American aid worker, a White House spokesperson says the Obama administration does not and will not negotiate with al-Qaeda.
A yellow ribbon is tied outside Weinstein’s Maryland home in Rockville.
Family members inside declined to speak.
Their nightmare began last August when Weinstein was kidnapped from his house in Lahore, Pakistan, where he worked as a business consultant for a Virginia firm.
Security experts called it a skilled abduction.
“It’s very sophisticated, and yes it does show militant groups can act with impunity, right in the middle of the most sophisticated city in Pakistan,” a security expert said.
By posing as delivery men, the kidnappers got past guards to Weinstein’s room.
“If you respond to them, hopefully I will live and rejoin my family, and also enjoy my two daughters as you enjoy your two daughters,” Weinstein pleaded.
Al-Qaeda’s leader says Weinstein could return to his home in Rockville, but has set impossible conditions for his release, including an end to drone missile strikes against al-Qaeda operatives and their allies, and a release of all Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects around the world.
“It’s very important that you act quickly, and I’m now waiting for your response,” Weinstein said.
The White House’s public response: no negotiations. In a public response, the White House condemns the kidnapping and called for Weinstein’s immediate release.
In the video, Weinstein did not specifically mention a deadline, only that delay would further complicate his tenuous position.