Warren Weinstein, 72, of Rockville was working as a government contractor in Pakistan when he was taken captive by Al-Qaeda in 2011.
In a recent interview with
WJZ-TV, Weinstein’s family is pleading for his release.
Weinstein’s overseas home was stormed by Al-Qaeda operatives armed with AK-47s who tortured and tied up the guards before taking Weinstein. He had been living in the high-security compound for years, traveling back to Rockville frequently to see his family.
“He was in his house sleeping in the master bedroom behind locked doors,” Elaine Weinstein, Warren Weinstein’s wife, told WJZ-TV.
In a video released by Al-Qaeda in December, Weinstein urges President Obama to negotiate for his freedom, according to a previous
Patch story. The video was allegedly sent to journalists who have reported from Afghanistan.
“Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government, and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here. And now when I need my government, it seems that I have been totally abandoned and forgotten,” he says in the video.
WJZ-TV reports the video released in December is the last time Warren Weinstein was seen by anyone.
“He was pale and gaunt and unanimated. Just a shell of himself,” Elaine Weinstein told WJZ-TV.
News of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s release in June after five years of captivity came hard for the Weinstein family.
“When I thought about it, I was crushed,” Elaine Weinstein told WJZ-TV. Because it would have been nice if they traded five prisoners for five hostages.”
Bergdahl had been held captive by the Taliban for five years, beginning in June 2009, according to
CBS News. President Obama and his administration made a deal, releasing five senior Taliban officials for Bergdahl’s return; he was released May 31.
Elaine Weinstein told WJZ-TV, if she could speak with President Obama, she would say:
“Please. . . work as hard on getting my husband home as you worked to get the sergeant home. Please do whatever you can. He’s a father, a grandfather, a husband, a gentle, kind man, who needs to be home with his family.”
>> View Warren Weinstein’s full video here.