DUBAI: Al Qaeda chief Ayman Al Zawahiri said on Friday that unless its demands were met, Al Qaeda would not release an elderly American development expert who was kidnapped from Lahore last year.In a video uploaded on Internet, the Al Qaeda leader said: “By the grace of Allah, we, on our part, have captured the American Jew Warren Weinstein.”
The American was snatched after gunmen tricked their way into his Lahore home on Aug 13, days before he was due to return to the United States.
Zawahiri said: “He (Weinstein) will not return to his family, by the will of Allah, until our demands are met, which include the release of Aafia Siddiqui, Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, the family of Shaikh Osama bin Laden, and every single person arrested on allegations of links with Al Qaeda and Taliban.”
Zawahiri, shown standing in front of a green curtain, called on Pakistanis to revolt against their government and military.
In a 10-minute speech uploaded to jihadi forums, he argued that the Pakistani authorities only represented US interests, according to a statement from SITE Intelligence Group.
He urged Pakistanis to follow the example of the Arab Spring as the military could not be expected to turn against America despite a deadly US strike on Pakistani troops in November. Long Al Qaeda's number two, Zawahiri took over the helm of the group after Bin Laden was killed in a May 2011 US raid in Abbottabad.—AFP