Al Qaeda Releases New Video of Elderly American Hostage

Warren Weinstein, 70, "begs" President Obama to give in to terrorist demands.

May 07, 2012, 6:25 AM

May 7, 2012 — -- Al Qaeda has released a new tape of a 70-year-old American hostage in which the U.S. citizen begs President Obama to give in to the demands of the terrorist organization to save his life.

"My life is in your hands, Mr. President," Warren Weinstein says in the video released online overnight. "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."

A U.S. government official told ABC News the video is being analyzed. Weinstein was kidnapped last August in Lahore, Pakistan, by a group of armed men who broke into his home.

A former Peace Corps and USAID official, Weinstein had stayed in Pakistan to work for a private company dealing in international aid issues.

"I've done a lot of service for my country, and I would hope that my country will now look after me and take care of me and meet the demands of the mujahedeen," Weinstein says in the new video.

Weinstein does not specify al Qaeda's demands, but the terror organization's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, released an audio message last December demanding the release of many "captive soldiers of al Qaeda" in exchange for Weinstein.

Weinstein, apparently in good health, is seated with food in the video and is also heard reciting verses of the Quran that deal with providing prisoners food.

Weinstein's wife and two daughters live in the U.S. but declined to comment for this report. Neither the U.S. embassy or the Pakistani government have publicly commented on the video.

The new hostage video came as the trial of accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four others began in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In one chaotic scene, the defendants refused to answer questions and interrupted with spontaneous prayer and shouts that guards might kill them.

One defense attorney claimed the outburst was a protest over the torture that each had endured.

"This treatment has had serious and long-term effects and will ultimately infect every aspect of this military commission tribunal," one of the attorneys, James Connell, said.

But for the victims' relatives, like Eddie Bracken, who watched on closed circuit television, it brought anger and disgust. Bracken's sister was killed when the twin towers fell.

"You took her away from her sons and daughters, took her away from her mother," Bracken said. "I will never forgive you for that and I am sure the other 2,972 families won't either."

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