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American kidnapped by al-Qaida asks Netanyahu to intervene

JTA

September 13, 2012 | 9:42 am

Kidnapped American Warren Weinstein called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to help free him from his al-Qaida captors.

The plea from Weinstein, 71, was included in a video released by al-Qaida late Wednesday night.

"As a Jew, I am appealing to you, Prime Minister Netanyahu, the head of the Jewish State of Israel, as one Jew to another, to please intervene on my behalf, to work with the mujahideen and to accept their demands so that I can be released and returned to my family, see my wife, my children and my grandchildren again," he said in the video, according to reports.

Weinstein, of Rockville, Md., also said the U.S. government has "no interest" in his case.

He was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses.

In May he appealed to President Obama to save his life.

"My life is in your hands, Mr. President," Weinstein, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, said on the video posted on Islamist websites. "If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, then I die. It's important that you accept the demands and act quickly and don't delay."

The demands included a halt to U.S. airstrikes and the freeing of all al-Qaida and Taliban suspects, according to reports.

The United States has said it will not negotiate with al-Qaida, which the United States designates as a terrorist organization.

In a video released in March, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said he would swap Weinstein for prisoners in the U.S. with links to the organization. The video noted that Weinstein was Jewish.

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