(JTA) — Al-Qaida called on the family of captive U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein to pressure the U.S. government to negotiate his release or risk his “dying a lonely death.”
“If you want Warren Weinstein to be released, do whatever you can to pressurize your government,” the terror group said in a statement posted on Islamist websites, the French news agency AFP reported.
“Your continued silence on the inaction of your government will only lead to your prisoner dying a lonely death in prison after this deliberate and prolonged neglect on the part of your government.”
Weinstein, 73, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses. The United States has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaida, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.
Al-Qaida is demanding the release of several Islamists held in jail in the U.S., including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik who is serving a life sentence for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In January, a video message featuring Weinstein, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, was sent to journalists and news services in Pakistan along with a link to a photo of a handwritten note.