A video of Warren Weinstein, an American Jew who was abducted in Pakistan last August, was released by Al Qaeda yesterday. In the video, Weinstein begs President Obama to “please accept and respond to the demands of the mujahideen,” calling them “easy.”
“My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands I live; if you don’t accept the demands then I die… Don’t delay… it will just make things more difficult for me.”
Weinstein, who appears thin in the video, also criticizes the U.S. government, saying that despite his years of public service (Weinstein had a long career working for various government agencies), not enough has been done to secure his release.
In videos released since Weinstein’s capture, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed responsibility and specifically highlighted Weinstein’s Jewish identity when discussing the demands for his release: “The American Jew… will not return to his family, by the will of Allah, until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia Siddique, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the family of Sheikh Osama bin Laden, and every single person arrested on allegations of links with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.”
Other demands include the lifting of the Gaza blockade; a halt to American and allied attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza; and the closure of Guantanamo.