President Barack Obama is aware of the video--released by al-Qaida on Sunday--that shows an American hostage's desperate plea for help and is "greatly concerned" for his safety, but refuses to negotiate with the terror group.
"The president is aware of it," White House press secretary Jay Carney said on Monday of the video plea. "I do not believe he's seen it, or I do not know that he's seen it."
"My life is in your hands, Mr. President," Warren Weinstein, the 70-year-old hostage, said in the two-minute video, posted on several Islamist websites. "If you accept the demands, I live. If you don't accept the demands, then I die."
"We remain greatly concerned for Mr. Weinstein's safety and his well-being," Carney continued. "Our hearts go out to him and his family. We condemn his kidnapping in the strongest terms and call for his immediate release. The U.S. government will continue making every effort to see Mr. Weinstein released safely to his family, but we cannot and will not negotiate with al-Qaida."
Weinstein, a development consultant living in Pakistan, was reportedly kidnapped from his home last August. Al-Qaida later claimed responsibility for the abduction.
The demands made by Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri include the release of all prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and an end to attacks by the United States and its allies on al-Qaida militants.
"It is important that you accept these demands and act quickly and don't delay," Weinstein said in the video. "There'll be no benefit in delaying, it will just make things more difficult for me.
"I will live and hopefully rejoin my family and also enjoy my children, my two daughters, like you enjoy your two daughters," he said, asking viewers to relay a message his wife: "I'd like her to know I'm fine, I'm well, I'm getting all my medications, I'm being taken care of."
More popular Yahoo! News stories:
Want more of our best political stories? Visit The Ticket or connect with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or add us on Tumblr. Handy with a camera? Join our Election 2012 Flickr group to submit your photos of the campaign in action.