The Obama administration has said the United States will not negotiate with al Qaeda, and has called for the immediate release of kidnapped American Warren Weinstein, who was shown pleading for his life in a video appeal this week.
The White House confirmed to the Associated Press Monday that the administration does not and will not negotiate with the terrorist organization. It did, however, voice concern for Weinstein's safety.
Weinstein, 70, was taken from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, nine months ago by heavily armed men. He was working as a country director for J.E. Austin Associates, a consultancy doing contract work for the U.S. Agency for International Development to build small businesses in the region. He has lived and worked in Pakistan for more than five years.
In a video released on Sunday, Weinstein said he was begging Obama to please accept al Qaeda's demands.
A statement attributed to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri said Warren Weinstein would be released if America ended its airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The terrorist group also demanded that all al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners around the world be released, the AP reported.
My life is in your hands, Mr. President, Weinstein said in the video. If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, then I die.
In the early stages of his captivity, there were reports that Weinstein was in poor health and that he had asked for heart medications, among others.
In the recent video, which was posted on a jihadist website before appearing on YouTube, Weinstein told his wife, Elaine, that he was receiving the needed medication.