Al-Qaida Holds US Aid Worker Hostage

    Terrorist group al-Qaida has announced it has in its custody a U.S. development expert kidnapped in Pakistan in August and has issued a series of demands in exchange for his release.

    Among the conditions announced by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri for Warren Weinstein’s freedom are the end of U.S. air strikes on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, and the release of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects held in prisons around the globe.

    “Just as the Americans detain whomever they suspect may be connected to al-Qaida or the Taliban even in the slightest of ways, we have detained this man who has been involved with US aid to Pakistan since the 1970s,” al-Zawahri said in a video message posted on the al-Qaida website, as quoted by the Guardian.

    Weinstein is chief of party for the U.S.-based consulting firm J.E. Austin & Associates, which is overseeing a U.S. Agency for International Development project to boost competitiveness among industries in Pakistan. He was taken from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, on Aug. 13.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.