Al-Qaida urges abducted man's family to press US

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Al-Qaida urges abducted man's family to press US
This image made from video released anonymously to reporters in Pakistan, including the Associated Press on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, which is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Warren Weinstein, a 72-year-old American development worker who was kidnapped in Pakistan by al-Qaida more than two years ago, appealing to President Obama to negotiate his release. The video of Weinstein was the first since two videos released in September 2012. Weinstein, the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based firm that advises a range of Pakistani business and government sectors, was abducted from his house in the eastern city of Lahore in August 2011.(AP Photo via AP video)
ROCKVILLE, MD - APRIL 22 -- Ribbons and flowers surround a tree outside the Weinstein home in Rockville, Maryland, on Thursday, April 22, 2015. President Barack Obama expressed his condolences to the family during a press conference. Warren Weinstein was held captive after his abduction in Pakistan three and a half years ago. He was killed in a counterterrorism operation. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during a previously unannounced appearance in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. The White House admitted Thursday that a January US operation against an Al Qaeda compound near the Afghan-Pakistan border killed one American and one Italian hostage, along with an American member of the jihadist group. The White House identified the hostages killed in the operation against the border compound as US contractor Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers and ribbons adorn a tree outside the Weinstein familyhouse in Rockville, Md., Thursday, April 23, 2015. Earlier, President Barack Obama took full responsibility for the counterterror missions and offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the hostages, Warren Weinstein of Rockville, Maryland, and Giovanni Lo Porto who were inadvertently killed by CIA drone strikes early this year. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Giovanna Piazza, Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto's sister-in-law, shows Giovanni Lo Porto's pictures to the photographer in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, Thursday, April 23, 2015. The Italian government on Thursday deplored the death of an Italian aid worker in a U.S. air strike, calling it a "fatal error" by the Americans. Italian Premier Matteo Renzi expressed his "profound pain" over Giovanni Lo Porto's death and offered Italy's condolences to Lo Porto's family and that of American Warren Weinstein, who was killed in the same airstrike on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Both were held hostage by al-Qaida. (AP Photo/Alessandro Fucarini)
Elaine Weinstein, left, wife of American aid worker Warren Weinstein who was kidnapped in Pakistan, is joined by their daughter Jennifer Coakley, right, during an interview with The Associated Press at the family home in Rockville, Md., Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. In the three years since Weinstein was kidnapped by militants in Pakistan, his family has been in a strange, sad limbo. Elaine Weinstein says that she still believes she'll see her husband alive. She says that hope is what keeps her getting out of bed. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Elaine Weinstein, right, wife of American aid worker Warren Weinstein who was kidnapped in Pakistan, and their daughter Jennifer Coakley, left, chat outside the family home in Rockville, Md., just north of Washington, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. In the three years since Weinstein was kidnapped by militants in Pakistan, his family has been in a strange, sad limbo. Elaine Weinstein says that she still believes she'll see her husband alive. She says that hope is what keeps her getting out of bed. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Elaine Weinstein, left, wife of American aid worker Warren Weinstein who was kidnapped in Pakistan, speaks with The Associated Press at the family home in Rockville, Md., Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. In the three years since Weinstein was kidnapped by militants in Pakistan, his family has been in a strange, sad limbo. Elaine Weinstein says that she still believes she'll see her husband alive. She says that hope is what keeps her getting out of bed. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
This undated image taken from video posted on a militant website and made available by IntelCenter shows al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri issuing a statement on the capture of American aid worker Warren Weinstein. Al-Zawahri claimed responsibility for the capture and said Weinstein would be released if the United States stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. He also demanded the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects around the world. (AP Photo/IntelCenter)
A Pakistani cyclist rides pass the house of a kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein on Thursday, Aug 25, 2011 in Lahore, Pakistan. A Pakistani police chief claimed Thursday that officers had freed a kidnapped American development expert but then he swiftly retracted the statement. The U.S. also said it could not confirm that Warren Weinstein, 70, had been released. Weinstein was kidnapped almost two weeks ago from the eastern city of Lahore. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary
A Pakistani police officer looks out from the house of a kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein on Thursday, Aug 25, 2011 in Lahore, Pakistan. A Pakistani police chief claimed Thursday that officers had freed a kidnapped American development expert but then he swiftly retracted the statement. The U.S. also said it could not confirm that Warren Weinstein, 70, had been released. Weinstein was kidnapped almost two weeks ago from the eastern city of Lahore. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary
A Pakistani woman walks past the house of kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. A senior Pakistani police official says authorities have not been able to determine whether the men who kidnapped an American development expert were criminals or Islamic militants. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)
A Pakistani police officer seen at the house of kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011. A senior Pakistani police official says authorities have not been able to determine whether the men who kidnapped an American development expert were criminals or Islamic militants. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)
A boy rides a bike past the house of kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. Authorities searched for clues about who kidnapped an American in Pakistan but came up with no leads after questioning the guards at his house when he was abducted, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
A Pakistani police officer peers through the gates of the house of kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. Authorities searched for clues about who kidnapped an American in Pakistan but came up with no leads after questioning the guards at his house when he was abducted, police said Sunday. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
The home of kidnapped American development expert Warren Weinstein is seen in Rockville, Md., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. Gunmen kidnapped Weinstein from his house in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday after tricking his guards and breaking into the house in a brazen raid that alarmed aid workers, diplomats and other foreigners, who already tread carefully in this country rife with Islamic militancy and anti-U.S. sentiment. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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By MAAMOUN YOUSSEF
Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) -- Al-Qaida urged the family of an American aid worker it abducted in Pakistan three years ago to demand that the U.S. government negotiate a prisoner exchange for his release.

Warren Weinstein was abducted in August 2011, four days before his seven-year stint as a business development expert with international aid agency USAID was to end. He turned 73 in July.

In a message released in English and Arabic and addressed to Weinstein's family, al-Qaida said it is "not interested in keeping" Weinstein but wants to exchange him for prisoners in U.S. custody.

"We are not interested in retaining the prisoner in our protection. We are only seeking to exchange him in return for the fulfilment of our demands" it said. "We will not spare any efforts for the release of our prisoners."

It criticized the U.S. government over alleged "inaction," saying it had not contacted al-Qaida to negotiate for Weinstein's release.

The authenticity of the message, which was dated August 2014, could not be independently confirmed, but it was posted Thursday on a website commonly used by militants.

The White House has called for Weinstein's immediate release but has said it won't negotiate with al-Qaida.

Weinstein appeared in a video sent in late December to reporters in Pakistan, appealing to President Barack Obama to negotiate his release. It was the first video to show Weinstein since September 2012. There was no indication of when it was made, but an accompanying, handwritten note was dated Oct. 3.

Weinstein's family said at the time that the video and the note did not convince them that he was alive and expressed concern about his health.

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