Air date: February 21, 2016
Elaine Weinstein tells CBS 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl about her harrowing negotiations to secure her husband Warren’s release and how the U.S. could have done more.
Warren Weinstein was an American economic development expert. He worked tirelessly to help others since beginning his career as a human rights advocate in 1969. Weinstein devoted his entire life to helping people around the world become economically self-sufficient.
From 2004-2011, Weinstein served as a development advisor in Pakistan for J.E. & Austin Associates, a contractor to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Weinstein was a father, husband, and grandfather who loved his family and communicated with them every day — sometimes more than once a day — prior to capture. He was 73 years old. He had a heart condition and severe asthma and is in extremely poor health.
His wife and daughter spent time with him in Pakistan. They observed him doing the work he loved and the important relationships he developed with the Pakistani people. He was a gentle man who was in Pakistan to help the people of Pakistan.
On April 24, the White House announced that Warren was accidentally killed in a U.S. drone strike, as was an Italian hostage, Giovanni Lo Porto in January, 2015.
Weinstein is kidnapped from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, four days before he is scheduled to return home to the United States and his family.
As-Sahab, the media group of al-Qaeda, releases an audio recording in which leader Ayman al-Zawahiri says his organization is holding Weinstein and will release him if the Obama administration stops all airstrikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, and releases several men convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to the New York Times.
Credible evidence surfaces that Weinstein is being held in North Waziristan.
As-Sahab releases a video of Weinstein. It is the first time Weinstein has been seen since his kidnapping.
As-Sahab releases two additional videos of Weinstein. Read more here.
As-Sahab releases a 13-minute video of Weinstein and a letter hand-written by him, dated October 2013. The only credible time stamp, however, is Weinstein’s reference to John Kerry as Secretary of State, proving that the materials were created after Feb. 1, 2013. Weinstein’s health has visibly deteriorated from the earlier videos, causing alarm for the family. A State Department spokesperson reiterates a call for Weinstein’s release.
As the third anniversary of Weinstein’s kidnapping approaches, the family has received no further information since the December 25 video and letter.
The White House announces that Warren Weinstein was killed in captivity during a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January, 2015.
Warren Weinstein was believed to be held hostage by members of a terrorist organization operating in North Waziristan, a mountainous tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The pin indicates where we believe Warren was being held.