US aid expert’s abduction: The mastermind belongs to banned outfit, say officials

Published: August 25, 2011

Lahore police chief says Warren Weinstein would be recovered soon. PHOTO: Mehmood Qureshi/EXPRESS

LAHORE: 

In a major breakthrough, spy agencies have traced the man who had masterminded the abduction of an American aid expert from an upscale neighbourhood of Lahore earlier this month.

Up to eight assailants abducted Dr Warren Weinstein, the country director for JE Austin Associates Inc, in a pre-dawn raid on his house in Model Town on August 13.

Intelligence sources told The Express Tribune that they are closing in on the mastermind who belongs to an outlawed extremist organisation. They said that other accomplices of the man are being tracked down with the help of mobile phone data records. However, they admitted that they haven’t got a clue as yet.

Police have detained five guards of Weinstein, his driver, a university student and two more people for questioning. One of them – Shaukat – is said to be prayer leader at Abu Huraira mosque sited on Sialkot Road. Some of the suspects belong to Basti Qudratabad area, in Gujranwala district, sources said.

Police and intelligence agencies are also checking different medical stores/pharmacies to find out if someone had bought medicines used by Weinstein. Sources familiar with the matter said that police and spy agencies are also conducting raids in different neighbourhoods of Lahore to arrest the culprits.

Meanwhile the Lahore police chief said that Weinstein would be recovered ‘soon’. “He (Weinstein) has not been taken out of Pakistan,” Ahmed Raza Tahir told the media. “We will soon recover him.”

JE Austin Associates Inc, is an Arlington, Va-based consulting firm and has been working on a development project in the lawless tribal areas where troops have been battling insurgents for years.

(With additional input from Reuters)

Published in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2011.

Reader Comments (8)

  • @brightish
    Aug 25, 2011 - 9:48AM

    Banned outfit? When they are on the loose every where. They are collecting funds/charities publically, delivering sermons openly and still they are banned?????

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  • Incredible
    Aug 25, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Sorry Spy Agencies, your info will be challenged by Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon that India is invloved and then later my Mr. Malik that they are aliens.

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  • BruteForce
    Aug 25, 2011 - 1:18PM

    Oh, he is from a “banned” outfit. Mystery solved.

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  • Chengez K
    Aug 25, 2011 - 1:37PM

    Good work Punjab Police!!!

    Karachi also needs good solid police officers backed by political will.

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  • Cautious
    Aug 25, 2011 - 5:34PM

    Why not just say that a “bad guy” kidnapped the American? Real detective work!

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  • Aslam Mahaboob
    Aug 25, 2011 - 9:32PM

    Thank god, it was a banned outfit. It is a relief. Can sleep well now.

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  • tehmina tariq
    Aug 25, 2011 - 11:16PM

    It is tragic for our country that anybody who tries to help us in any way is killed or abducted. Dr. Warren was providing advice and guidance to our educational institutuions including major government sector ones.
    As a Pakistani I feel deeply ashamed that foreign visitors, especially those trying to help us sincerely, leaving their homes and coming to a country with a reputation for violence like ours are treated in this manner.
    I can only hope that he is recovered alive and well, and that the abductors are given exemplerary punishment and that they are not released on bail. Nothing can justify the abduction of a person for money. As a banned outfit, serious action must be taken so we can see the government is serious in maintaining law and order.

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  • tehmina tariq
    Aug 26, 2011 - 11:18PM

    How is it that the senior officials constantly alert criminals to impending action against them?
    Shouldn’t disciplinary action be taken against them so they cannot hold high offices?

    Is it an indication that not only are these officials incompetent, they are threats to our security and may actually be trying to prevent the arrest of the perpetrators of terrorist activity?

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