An American aid expert was kidnapped at gunpoint from his house in Lahore on Saturday after gunmen stormed through the back door and overpowered his guards.
The US embassy identified the man, who police said was 63 years old, as Warren Weinstein and said that he worked for a private company. He was snatched before dawn in the upscale Model Town neighbourhood, just two days before he was due to return to the United States after spending more than four years in the country.
Police described how eight kidnappers forced their way into the house as Weinstein’s guards were having their Sehari at 3:30 am.
“Somebody knocked on the main door. One of the guards said that when he opened the door, he saw three men standing there. They offered meals to the guard, who politely refused,” said police official Tajamul Hussain.
Just as one of the guards, Aurangzeb, refused “five more men climbed into the house using the back door, overpowered the guards and tied their hands behind their back,” Hussain added. “They asked Weinstein’s driver, Muhammad Israr, to knock on his bedroom door. When Weinstein opened the door, they grabbed him.”
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.
Police said Weinstein had lived in Lahore since 2006, working for J E Austin Associates, however police were never informed about him. Police claimed that the manner in which the kidnapping was carried out was extremely well planned and meticulously executed, ruling out the incident to be a case of kidnapping for ransom.
“He was to return to the US on August 15 as his firm had completed the project in Fata,” said SP Model Town Malik Awas. He added that Weinstein was a highly paid official and that the case had been transferred to the organised crime department.
SP Investigation Model Town Shoaib Khurram Janbaz told The Express Tribune that the two cameras at separate entries of the house had been out of order for last two years, adding that his (Weinstein’s) guards and driver were being interrogated.
“We are working with local authorities on the investigation, and we also are in contact with next of kin and are providing the family with consular support,” State Department spokeswoman Joanne Moore told AFP.
A biography of Weinstein on his consulting firm’s website said he has a doctorate in international law and economics, is a Fulbright Scholar with 25 years of experience in international development projects who speaks six foreign languages and is well known among donor agencies.
“Currently, Dr Weinstein is serving as chief of party for JAA (J E Austin Associates) on the Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness,” the firm’s website said. Later on Saturday, Weinstein’s biography was removed from the website.
A representative of J E Austin could not be immediately reached for comment at the firm’s office in Arlington.
According to its website, the Virginia-based J E Austin has completed more than 500 projects in 100 countries on behalf of clients all over the world, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the main foreign aid arm of the US government, according to a USAID report on the project.
Police said Weinstein travelled widely within Pakistan, and had returned to Lahore from Islamabad on Thursday.
The US State Department last Monday revised its travel warning, saying that Americans throughout Pakistan have been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons.
Recent foreign targets
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for kidnapping a Swiss couple in July in Balochistan. Eight Pakistani employees of a US-based aid organisation, American Refugee Committee (ARC), were kidnapped in Balochistan last month.
(With additional input from wires)
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2011.
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@Ex Pakistani: Did you see the IF there or not??? I said If he is a CIA.Understand???
We are infected with conspiracy theories especially about CIA. The poor guy was over 70 years old & had doctrate in human development. Have mercy on his poor soul.
he was picked jst two days before he ws abt to leave the country... isn't it a safer way to take ur residents back home while leaving the world wid an impression, 'see who pakitanis are' lolz
@pakpinoy: You hit the nail on the head again.
"Do you really believe the US owes Pakistan ANYTHING? What for?? "
You can't reason with some of the folks on this forum. Pak's problems are being blamed on external factors. As a tax payer I wish we use the funds that are going into sinkhole; instead be used here in TX.
The forum needs to be renamed "Blame Game" From blaming US military hardware being overpriced to the equip being obsolete. No one has clue on how long the the life cycle of the weapon system is; the B-52 was developed in 50's before I was born and is still a force to recon with. I have been working on F22 (on/off) for over 20 years; and they will continue to rule the sky's next 40 year. Bottom line the world HAS passed them by and they have missed the boat. The nation cannot even fulfill the basics of everyday i.e food, water, electric; yet some of these clowns say we do not need anything from anyone and we will default on loans, they have no economic clue as to how the global economy works. What a mess....
@komal: Daniel pearl was not killed because he was a jew. He died because he was an inquisitive journo who got tangled up with violent extremists whose interview he was trying to attain. The same violent extremists who have killed more than 50,000 innocent Pakistanis since the killing of Daniel Pearl. I've never read or heard of any Jew being targetted before or since that incident.
@pakpinoy: When did I say the US owes Pakistan and therefore must give us Aid?You should read my post properly. I said the complete opposite, we (the Pakistani people) DONT want this Aid, you can use it instead on more of your dregs and trailer trash. We don't want your 'Aid' which goes to dubious NGOs run by Americans, while we are left with the bill. Pakistan is the world's 27th biggest economy in GDP (PPP) terms, around half a trillion dollars, so in comparison to that the sums are still measly. You write : "helping create, support and nurture the monster-producing movement known as the Taliban that has led to a global security threat and destruction to such level in Afg & Pak that both are borderline failed states?" Which country does the above really describe, Pakistan or the USA? The USA was the womb that created the frankenstein monster of extremism.
@Ex Pakistani: Muslim tradition? In Pakistan? Are you serious?
Daniel Pearl redux.Only difference is that his guards who were also Ex-SSG commandos are suspected to be involved here.one thing can solve the motive of this case by knowing Mr.Warren Weinstein's religion.If he is a jew as daniel pearl was then he is dead for sure coz Pakistanis have special love for jews.
It does make sense for Mr Warren Weinstein to work in Lahore. He was a PhD & he does not work physically. His work is theoretical and he advises and help with his theory so Lahore does make sense as it (probably) has better infrastructure and more intellectual resources available. Our President B. Hussain Obama's late mother was an adviser & consultant to ADP. Shame on a country that does not take these resources offered to them for free.
Pakistan has been left behind. If the knuckleheads don't change they will be left in dust & written off in history as a failed nation. I am sure Pak will have lot of company along with Somalia, N. Korea and most of the Middle East.
MK says "It’s very strange that this guy was working in the Tribal area and he was living in Lahore, does’nt make sense. His residence should have been at the bare minimum in Peshawar or Islamabad. Just a thought".!!! Have you ever thought that our rulers, rule in Islamabad, holiday in London, business in Dubai, shop in Paris and beg in Washington. If that is not strange, then why this guy's living in Lahore is strange.
@ExPakistani: "Sad news! Muslim tradition is if someone is in your home no matter who it is they have safety. If we cant secure our guest we fail as muslims."
Sir, you are you are expecting too much, we are Muslim by name only, calling us hyporites be rather more appropriate.
I have a better theory: the said American has kidnapped himself to bring bad name to our glorious country !
@Ex Pakistani, Brother you are going through a serious identity crisis. A lot of people have been down this path and I wish you all the best in finding an identity that you can truly live with.
@pakpinoy: America gives us some aid in the shape of loans, to buy second hand overpriced american equipment for our army. It also gives loans knowing full well the corrupt politicians they planted will siphon them off and line their pockets, while the pakistani state is left with the bill and the interest. In the past decade hardly 6 Billion dollars was loaned, the majority of it being spent on being your policeman on the afghan border. The cost of operations is much more than what was given, especially if you count the loss to the economy of more than 70 billion dollars since 2001. The Pakistani people do not wish for this "Aid", forever tied to strings, forever used to browbeat us into submission, and used to burden us with even more debt. Take your measly aid sums and the politicians you give them to. A good place to put would be where the sun doesn't shine.
@pakpinoy: My post was not a serious attempt at proving some sort of CIA connection. It was a light remark. The nature of espionage is such that it could hardly ever be proven to have occurred, much less proven by someone like myself who has no connection with aforementioned events. Considering the US is dropping bombs and missiles on us on an almost daily basis, it should not seem strange that any shady US going ons in the country will be construed or misconstrued with their clandestine efforts, i.e. spying. Remember McCarthyism?
His development work in FATA reminds us of polio campaign of CIA.
I was looking forward to traveling in Lahor in this autumn, but I am very sorry I heve to give up to go to Pakisatan. But I like Pakistan very much.
A very sad start to our 64th independence day. What kind of country are we to celebrate abductions and make it difficult for foreigners to live here? Things like these are going to bring us plane loads of tourists?? What is wrong with us that we have lost the hospitality we were renowned for and now attack all foreigners and suspect them of being spies. And really who cares of they are spies, if we strengthen our nation and educate our people and ensure economic prosperity no one can harm us. Spy games have been played since the world was created. We have our spies too all over the world.
If we let our obsession with conspiracy theories and this new hate for foreigners take over, the only losers are us Pakistanis. No one wants to come here anyways, and the few who do we suspect of spying without proof. Yes my fellow citizens shoot yourselves in the foot some more.
Nations who believe in conspiracy theory are most likely to conspire..
It's very strange that this guy was working in the Tribal area and he was living in Lahore, does'nt make sense. His residence should have been at the bare minimum in Peshawar or Islamabad. Just a thought.!!!
@indi pindi shindi: Thanks mate! I am a citizen of a AAA rated country which has alot of cash at hand... not part of the redundant anglo saxon economy. My kids go to a really good school. I actually have two really good cars. I will pray for you to atleast get one day without load shedding.
@Observer3: It seems we are in gutter and we love the smell
@MS - Mariya: You are absolutely right... he gave me a befitting response. While I wouldnt normally respond this way but what the heck let me say what I feel like.... Your country... all the best with it... no light, no law, no justice, no future... I wish you all the best with your mullahs, your taliban, your corrupt politicians, your corrupt judiciary and buearuecracy, broken roads,falling education standards. All the best please fix it in the existing system. I will leave a letter for my future generations to check on YOUR PAKISTAN in 150 years to see if it has come out of the abyss or still crawling down there.... My guess is still there when young people in Pakistan dont see the problem within
Black Water/CIA aka Aid Workers/Diplomats!
@pakpinoy: Well said.
It is so sad to see nation get to this level and common man man making slanderous accusation without any insight.
This country is doomed. Even if Mr Weinstien is Jewish so what. They are believers of the Holy book & does the average Pakistani sees that ISI probably has its presence in US & elsewhere.
For heavens sake show some Mercy and fairness as we all have to meet our maker someday,
Pakistan is world No. 5 in milk production seems odd this man was teaching then to selling milk. He was more like milking US aid in Pakistan's name. In any case the kidnapping was wrong
Of coarse it is an inside job, the butler did it.
Strange, this man was working in the Tribal areas and at a bare minimum he should have been living in Peshawar or even Islamabad, but not Lahore. Just a thought !!
MS - Mariya says "All is well in the comment section till you see an indian talking rubbish. Really cant control their evil souls."
It's the soul of a Hindu Baniye. It's always evil. Unlike peaceful, compassionate, secular, progressive Pakistanis.
MS- Mariya: You are unnecessarily dragging "India" into this. Cant face the truths posted by Indians, I guess, Because "Truths" are evil to Pakistanis like you.
He was an Aid worker for FATA same as Raymond Davis was...
@Ex Pakistani: You are actually not par of this nation. makes one wonder why is you here to begin with when you are already a 2nd class citizen of a now AAA rated or better country! Thank god you were not some american who grep up in the 60's with all that discrimination against the black folk. I am sure you would ve burnt your umrekan passport!
Seems like even when you were back in Pak,. u were some major loser considering your online choice on a name! We are glad you can now afford a BMW & a mortgaged house!
Please No Indian comments here, Indian do enough propaganda on cnn, foxnews, bbc etc in the comments section on every news related to Pakistan
@Khalid Rahim & @DarkStar
For all those ignorantly uninformed, every freakin' development organization which serve primarily as contractors for large USAID projects are based in the broader DC area -- i.e. Arlington, VA!!
And Weinstein is an incredibly common Jewish-American name. Why in God's name would the CIA send an operative with a freakin' Jewish name??
At least if you want to dream up new conspiracies, use your brain a little bit and be a little more creative.
@Cautious: nobody is celebrating, you cunning cheater.
There are so many idiot posters here. There is no freakin' way a man 60+ working/living for 5-6 years in Pakistan is CIA! Does anyone here have a brain???
I am really sick of the attitudes of Pakistanis. America, my country, gives you guys billions in aid and a few "fearless" and often "selfless" people brave the harsh culture and dangerous security environment to actually help in a small way and you label them all CIA agents! It's pathetic!!!
I spent almost 10 years building a business there only to now be suffering the same fate. But I'm fed up. The only people welcome in Pakistan nowadays are terrorists with long beards, sharp tongues and violent deeds. Any decent white guy with a brave soul and big heart is part of some "vast conspiracy" against the Muslim world and the people of Pakistan!
But I understand why everyone believes the conspiracies so easily. They can't imagine any sane person who would even travel to the God-awful place, much less for development & relief work, business or some other charity! They can't imagine such because they are all dying to get out of the place. It's truly a pathetic mental state the nation squalors in endlessly!
Sad to see all the hate, slander and bigotry. Is this a Muslim nation. Folks show some compassion. Mr. Weinstien was a guest in Pakistan. Is it not Ramazan?
For any muslim to indulge in such a heinous crime like kidnapping in the month of Ramadhan is grotesque and unacceptable. If this American was involved in some mysterious activities, even than we must realize that it is our government which gives them the permission to carry out such business. He was a guest in Pakistan with a valid permission to stay, as such this act of kidnapping is unbecoming of a muslim. It will only further harm us in the international community, where we are already being looked at with suspicion. Pakistan only stands to suffer because of such deeds, which could only be planned by those who have no loyalty to this country. What were our intelligence agencies doing?.
He must be a non-state actor from the US, just like the non-state actors from Pakistan who attacked Bombay on 26/11. (you get what i mean?)
@MS - Mariya: I guess everybody who shows us the mirror of ugly truth is an Indian, right??
@Anjum: Good reply to Ex-pakistani.
Glad to see Pakistanis speaking up
Another CIA operative picked up by the intelligence agencies.....this will probably continue as time passes....and the US government will go to any extent to tell lies about the person's status/profession. Aid workers, journalists and Oil and Mining Company executives are usually CIA operatives. Thats for sure !!! So no surprise here. This guy must be involved with something important.
All is well in the comment section till you see an indian talking rubbish. Really cant control their evil souls.
Doesn't Warren Weinstein sound like a very made-up name? Like something an anorak sitting in Langley (CIA HQ not to far away from Arlington) would have thought up.
@HT: Well said HT
If he is a CIA operative, arrest him in broad day light and take him to courts. Why this whole drama bazaee of kidnapping. Why act like a choor even when catching a criminal. Anyone supporting this ‘kidnapping cum drama bazee’ is supporting lawlessness which is already taking hold of our society.
If he not a CIA operative, this is bad and we should not just declare every American evil like we don’t want the Americans to label us.
@Pragmatist: Actively done by your companies, gov. and agencies, we know, americans are good at destroying countries. But inshallah you will not succeed. This is pakistan. We are as patriotic as Americans. Pak zindabad
@TightDhoti: Not ordinary Amrikis. But their agencies working for american companies through the Amriki government. Every knowledgable person knows that. Do some studies and research. Internet is free..
Oh man this poor sap is an american jew.
@Malik Sajjad: Sure it is. But why are they allowed to do it on our soil? Incompetency?
@Roflcopter: Haha..of course.
@Ex Pakistani: Goodbye. The rest of us will stay and make things in order.
@Ishtiaer Hussain: And forreign agencies igniting troubles are? Do us all a favor and do some research first, start by googling... Then contribute in the forum intelligently
@Cautious: Haha...the "world" with your types? Who cares
@Peace On Earth: Are you for real??? Naive...
@XX: CIA game play
It is unclear why ET insinuates that this man was somehow a CIA guy - done by putting the words 'aid expert' in inverted commas. But I am particularly shocked by majority of the posters who are celebrating the kidnapping of a 60+ man who was trying to do some good in Pakistan.
On the one hand, it is automatically assumed that any white person is a CIA agent. On the other hand, you see all these articles about how to market tourism in Pakistan and push the warm hospitality. Is this hospitality to kidnap an old man from his home at night in a holy month?
I notice that people do not seem to realize that this man was a Jew or else they would be celebrating even more. The kidnappers and all kidnapping supporters that I see on ET - you are the ones that bring a bad name to Islam. You should be ashamed of yourself.
@XX: Open the map of Virginia USA and see how far is Arlington from Langley both in Virginia? J E Austin Inc a honeycomb for Bush Center Operations.
If my name was Warren Weinstein, I sure wouldn't be snooping around Pakistan. Is that USAID in budget cuts? No more bread or bullets.
He will be released and kidnappers will be punished as per Pakisatn Penal Code because he is an American.
Old man trying to help Pakistan gets kidnapped and Pakistan celebrates --- and you wonder why the World has a poor opinion of you.
Yes every American must be a CIA agent just because the headline puts it in inverted commas!! Why is that btw?
Pakistanis are digging the hole deeper and deeper. Soon there will be no way out. It is time somebody gave you a reality check. You CAN'T win against the West. You neither have the financial might, intellectual resources or the military power to take on the Americans. The sooner Pakistan realizes its place in the pecking order, the better. Having nukes doesn't mean squat when your country is going down the gurgler.
aid expert? cough CIA agent cough
It is all by Black Water, Sure about that.
@Anda Beenda: I should because if this is how we think then i dont want to be part of this nation anyway
@Iftikhar-ur-Rehman: so you condone acts of terrorism? How do you find out if he is not? As a human being is this what our first reaction be?
Davis was not kidnapped because he did not let it happen. Before they kidnap him, he killed both abductors. Secondly he had no Pakistani Gurads, therefore his abduction was not easy. This guy trusted Pakistani Security Guards, who let him down. These security guards are useless, cannot protect anyone.
@naveed amjad: the others u mentioned are deranged self proclaimed liberal ideologues
Looks like the state has acquired a 'new strategic asset'.
@naveed amjad: You can't be more correct on the point you just raised. Our media is not showing why Dr. Afia was "kidnapped and tortured" by the US. She had links with Al-Qaeda men and had maps of certain sensitive locations in the US. She was involved in active planning to trigger terrorism in the US. Though, i condemn the way she was somehow kidnapped and treated by the US. But if someone is saying that she is entirely innocent, i don't agree with that view.
amercians will never learn that who is there brother and who is there enemy. Amercains are there own enemy as long as they feed pakistan and there terrorist.
Seeing our acrid relations with the US, the kidnapped (J E Warner or whatever) should have let better sense prevail and left Pakistan years ago. And that too working on a development project in the tribal areas for five to six years. Frankly this corporate insanity to have a development project in the lawless tribal lands looks like another CIA conjured trick.
My heartfelt commiserations to you Mr. Warner but please take the first flight out of our country when you are released.
Even in the USA, UK and Europe kidnapping for ransom continues to the day.
so now every white person is a CIA agent and every brown man a terrorist ... time to break ree from our stereotypes
@Muhammad Saifullah Khalid: So you are condoning the kidnapping? So you think based on your thoughts is the world and that includes muslims states wrong in considering Pakistan a terrorist state?
Yup, we knew Americans were always working so hard in the tribal areas... After all the developments are needed ONLY in those areas. What's next?
If he is CIA he got what he deserved!!!
"JE Warner"... or "Warren Weinstein"?
US Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez says it is the latter, according to CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/08/13/pakistan.kidnapping/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
However, apparently the Embassy refused to identify the kidnapped to Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/13/us-pakistan-us-kidnap-idUSTRE77C0DI20110813
He works for J.E. Austin Associates, Inc., based in Arlington, VA, a sister city to Washington, D.C.: http://jeaustin.com/about/who-we-are/ As you can see from their website, they are focused on nurturing business-led growth in developing countries. They are technically not a non-profit.
Pakistani Taliban, linked to al Qaeda, have claimed responsibility for kidnapping a Swiss couple in July, also in Balochistan. They said the couple could be freed in exchange for a Pakistani woman serving a jail term in the United States for shooting FBI agents and US soldiers in Afghanistan.
another US attack?
no one can use our place for own purpose
and that development project was to develop latest bombs and test them in Pakistan. :)
Yeah right, and Raymond Davis was helping lil ole ladies cross Lahore's busy roads.
Sad news! Muslim tradition is if someone is in your home no matter who it is they have safety. If we cant secure our guest we fail as muslims
Another conspiracy created by CIA.
why are people being kidnapped to exchange for afia? she was a deranged ideologue and nothing more. the real qaum ki betis are women like sherry rehman,sheharbano taseer and asma jehangir and mukhtara mai.