An American man kidnapped by al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan in August 2011 says he feels Å“totally abandoned and forgotten,” seeking help from the US government.
In a recorded video message, Warren Weinstein called on President Barack Obama, the administration, and members of Congress, to negotiate with his captors.
The 72-year-old government contractor began his address by urging President Barack Obama to step up efforts to get him released, The Washington Post reports, publishing a copy of the video message on its website.
Å“You are now in your second term as president of the United States and that means that you can take hard decisions without worrying about reelection,” said Weinstein. Å“The American government should do everything it can in order to obtain my release.”
He also pleaded the American media to Å“take up” his case for the sake of humanity in order Å“to mobilize public opinion to bring President Obama and his administration to take the necessary actions that will lead to my freedom and to pursue negotiating my release effectively as quickly as possible.”
According to the Post, a State Department spokeswoman and a member of Weinsteinâ„¢s family said Wednesday night that they had not independently received the note or video.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf later said that US officials were Å“working hard to authenticate” the contents of the message, according to the newspaper.
Å“We reiterate our call that Warren Weinstein be released and returned to his family,” she said in a statement. Å“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 the US stopped launching controversial air strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and several other countries.
The US argues that the strikes seek to target Å“suspected militants” but local and international reports show the attacks mainly leave civilians dead.
Source: Press TV