Wife of al-Qaeda captive pleads for his freedom

The wife of al-Qaeda hostage Warren Weinstein has pleaded for his release on the anniversary of his disappearance.

Mr Weinstein, a 71 year-old aid worker from Maryland, was taken captive last August by gunmen who broke into his home in the city of Lahore, Pakistan.

Elaine Weinstein said: “It is impossible to describe the pain and sadness my daughters and I feel. We are simply heart sick.

"I always imagined growing old with Warren and enjoying our family together."

Mr Weinstein had worked in the Pakistan for eight years as the country director of JE Austin Associates, advising the Pakistani government and businesses on development.

In videos released by al-Qaeda, Mr Weinstein makes a direct plea to President Obama for his release. Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said Mr Weinstein would be freed if the US stopped airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects worldwide were released. An investigation by the FBI into the kidnapping is ongoing.

Last updated: 6:46pm, August 13 2012