U.S. hostage urges Obama to meet al Qaeda demands

DUBAI Mon May 7, 2012 2:11am EDT

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DUBAI (Reuters) - An American aid worker abducted by al Qaeda in Pakistan last year has pleaded with President Barack Obama to meet his captors' demands for the release of prisoners in order to save his life, in a video released by the militant group's media arm.

The SITE monitoring service, which follows al Qaeda's statements, quoted Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in the central Pakistani city of Lahore last August, appealing to Obama to "accept and respond to the mujahideen".

"My life is in your hands, Mr. President. If you accept the demands, I live; if you don't accept the demands, then I die," it quoted Weinstein as saying in the video, which was posted on Islamist websites on Sunday.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in an audio recording in December that the group was responsible for Weinstein's abduction and demanded the release of all those in U.S. detention for ties his Islamist militant group or the Taliban.

He also demanded an end to air strikes by the United States and its allies against militants in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia and Gaza.

(Writing by Joseph Logan; editing by Sami Aboudi/Maria Golovnina)

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