BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Speaking out. A Maryland man kidnapped in Pakistan has been held by al-Qaeda for two years. Now we’re hearing from his family.
Linh Bui has their plea for his safe return.
Warren Weinstein’s family is still fighting for the government to step in and bring him home. A few days ago, al-Qaeda released a new video showing Weinstein pleading for help.
“It has been more than two years since I have been taken prisoner by al-Qaeda,” Weinstein said in the video.
“You hear the strain and the stress in his eyes. They are like fish eyes. He looks horrible, absolutely horrible,” said his sister, Claire Ellen Weinstein. “You realize the torture he’s going through.”
Claire Ellen Weinstein can’t hold back tears when she thinks of her brother Warren.
“I am now over 72 years of age. I am not in good health,” Warren Weinstein said in the video.
Claire Ellen Weinstein says the man in the newly released video is a shell of her older brother.
“That was him being coerced to say these words,” she said.
Two years ago, al-Qaeda forces kidnapped Weinstein in Pakistan just hours before he was scheduled to fly back to the United States. Weinstein, who lived in Rockville, was working as an economic developer, teaching locals how to farm and be self-sufficient.
“He never hesitated to go, never, because that’s where he was needed and he went. He didn’t really think a lot about his own safety,” she said.
When asked if she thinks her brother will ever come home, Weinstein struggles to answer.
“I pray he does and I have hope he does. Do I think he will? I don’t know,” she said.
But every time one of these videos is released, as hard as it is to watch, it brings her hope, too.
“We have evidence that, at least as of that point in time, he was still alive,” she said.
Weinstein’s kidnappers have said he can return home to Maryland if the U.S. halts air strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, and if all al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects are released.
The Weinstein family wants people to write Congress, the President and the Department of Defense to put pressure on the government to bring Warren Weinstein home.
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