(JTA) — The wife of Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in Pakistan by Al-Qaida gunmen, marked the first anniversary of his abduction with a plea for his return.
Elaine Weinstein released a statement Monday saying she fears that his health will "deteriorate" since he suffers from several medical conditions, and that his grandchildren ask for him every day, The Associated Press reported.
"It is impossible to describe the pain and sadness my daughters and I feel," Elaine Weinstein reportedly said. "We are simply heartsick. I always imagined growing old with Warren and enjoying our family together."
Weinstein, 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. Weinstein, 71, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, had worked in Pakistan for eight years and spoke the local language, Urdu.
In May, al-Qaida released a videotape of Weinstein in which he begs President Obama to save his life. In the video, Weinstein tells Obama that he wants to "live and hopefully rejoin my family and also enjoy my children, my two daughters, like you enjoy your two daughters.” Sitting before a platter of food, he also says he is in good health. It is not known when the video was recorded.
In a video released in March, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said that he would swap Weinstein for prisoners in the U.S. with links to the organization. The video noted that Weinstein was Jewish.