Al-Qaida demands release of 'brothers' for aid worker's freedom

    The leader of terrorist group al-Qaida is renewing demands for the release of the U.S. development expert kidnapped in Pakistan in August.

    Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a video released on Friday (March 16) by the group’s media arm, as-Sahab, that Warren Weinstein will only be returned to his family once the United States frees “every single person” it arrested over alleged links with al-Qaida and the Taliban, CBS News reports. The message is similar to his announcement in December.

    Weinstein is the country director in Pakistan of U.S.-based firm J.E. Austin Associates. He was wrapping up work on a U.S. Agency for International Development project in the country and was days from returning to the United States at the time of his abduction.

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    About the author

    • Jenny Lei Ravelo

      Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.