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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kidnapped American in Pakistan asks Obama to negotiate with al-Qaeda for his release

Warren Weinstein, an American who was kidnapped in Pakistan two years ago, has asked President Obama to negotiate for his release with al-Qaeda in a video posted by the terror group to its web site.

Let's go to the videotape.

The Washington Post adds:
A State Department spokeswoman and a member of Weinstein’s family said Wednesday night that they had not independently received the note or video. The Washington Post provided a copy to both of them.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf later said that U.S. officials were “working hard to authenticate” the contents of the message.
“We reiterate our call that Warren Weinstein be released and returned to his family,” she said in a statement. “Particularly during this holiday season — another one away from his family — our hopes and prayers are with him and those who love and miss him.”
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a statement issued in December 2011 that Weinstein would be freed if Washington stopped launching air strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also demanded the release of all imprisoned members of al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The following year, Zawahri urged followers to kidnap Westerners to gain more leverage in al-Qaeda’s bid to get prominent jihadists freed from U.S. custody. Among the top priorities for the group is the release of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian who was convicted of orchestrating the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The Obama administration has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaeda for Weinstein’s release. The United States as a matter of policy generally does not negotiate with kidnappers, but the government devotes resources to finding Americans kidnapped overseas.
Read the whole thing

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