An American Jew who was being held hostage by terrorists on the Afghan border was confirmed as having been killed in a US drone strike in January.
Dr Warren Weinstein, 67, a Jewish academic and development contractor, was kidnapped in Lahore in August 2011 towards the end of a four-year stint in Pakistan, when armed men burst into his city home and overpowered his guards.
A former Peace Corps official, Weinstein had been working for Virginia-based development company J.E. Austin Associates when we was captured. He described his work as supervising a four-year $11 million government-funded “competitiveness project” in the dairy, horticulture, furniture and medical equipment sectors.
Al-Qaeda later released several videos touting his Jewish faith, in which he was shown with fellow hostage Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker. Weinstein made several appeals to US President Barack Obama to facilitate his release.
Weinstein’s widow Elaine this week spoke to Obama before he announced the news to the press, in a rare glimpse inside the secretive US war on terror. The president called Weinstein a humanitarian who “devoted his life” to help people.
Mrs Weinstein is believed to want to know more about the circumstances in which her husband was killed but has said al-Qaeda bears “ultimate responsibility” for his death.