by Florian Flade
Ever since Al-Qaida´s leader Dr.Ayman az-Zawahiri has claimed responsibility for holding an American citizen hostage in December 2011, experts and intelligence officials have been debating wether or not Al-Qaida´s claim was in fact true. Is the American director for „J.E. Austin Associates“ in Pakistan, Warren Weinstein, who has kidnapped in Lahore (Pakistan) in August 2011 really held by Al-Qaida?
On Monday the terror network´s media outlet „As-Sahab“ has released a video message by Weinstein, in which he urges the US government to fulfill the demands of Al-Qaida for his release.
„I would like to talk to President Obama and ask him and beg him to accept and respond to the demands of the Mujahidin“, Weinstein says in the video sitting at a table with food and books on it, „My life is in your hands Mr President. If you don´t accept the demands, then I die. It is important that you accept the demands.“
Pakistani sources have claimed Weinstein, who hails from Rockville (Maryland) was abducted from his home in Lahore by armed gunmen belonging to terrorist group „Lashkar e-Jhangvi“. The American was then allegedly transferred to the tribal region of North Waziristan and probably handed over to the Tehrik e-Taliban (TTP), a group known to cooperate with Al-Qaida.
In the now released hostage´s video message no demands are given though it is known from Zawahiri´s claim of responsibility for the kidnapping that Al-Qaida wants all of its members held by the US to be released and demands an end to US airstrike and drone attacks in Muslim countries.