Wife of kidnapped American in Pakistan pleads for his release

The wife of Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in Pakistan by Al-Qaida gunmen, marked the first anniversary of his abduction with a plea for his return.

Elaine Weinstein released a statement Aug. 13 saying she fears that his health will “deteriorate” since he suffers from several medical conditions, and that his grandchildren ask for him every day, the Associated Press reported.

Weinstein, of Rockville, Md., was kidnapped in August 2011 while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses. Weinstein, 71, a former Peace Corps and USAID official, had worked in Pakistan for eight years and speaks the local language, Urdu.

In May, al-Qaida released a videotape of Weinstein in which he begs President Barack Obama to save his life. It is not known when the video was recorded.

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