Pakistan quizzes suspects over abducted American

Police have detain­ed a few people for questi­oning, includ­ing guards posted at house.


Reuters August 14, 2011

LAHORE: Pakistani police have detained a number of people for questioning in connection with the kidnapping of an American development expert in the eastern city of Lahore, investigators said on Sunday.

In a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, six to eight assailants broke into the house of the man, identified by the US State Department as Warren Weinstein, and abducted him after overpowering security guards.

"We have detained a few people for questioning, including guards posted at the house," Lahore police chief Ahmed Raza Tahir told Reuters.

"We hope to recover him soon," he added, without giving further details.

US embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said they had not yet been informed about any progress in the case. "Police are investigating. We are waiting."

No one claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Weinstein has been identified as working for J.E. Austin & Associates, an Arlington, Virginia-based consulting firm, on a development project in lawless tribal areas where Pakistani troops have been battling insurgents for years.

Police said the gunmen barged into house on the pretext of sharing a meal with the guards, a common practice during the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan, which started early this month. The attackers then forced Weinstein's driver to knock on his bedroom door. When he opened it, they took him.

The victim, in his 60s, had been living in Pakistan for five to six years, according to police. He mostly lived in Islamabad but had been travelling to Lahore.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States have sharply deteriorated since January, when a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis in Lahore, and worsened after US Navy SEALS killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a raid in northwestern Pakistan that Islamabad termed a breach of its sovereignty.

Pakistani Taliban, linked to al Qaeda, have claimed responsibility for kidnapping a Swiss couple in July in the volatile southwestern province of Balochistan.

Eight Pakistani employees of a US-based aid organisation, American Refugee Committee (ARC), were kidnapped in Balochistan last month.

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COMMENTS (15)

DarkStar(Karachi) | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@rehmat: Yes, that treasure trove of accurate information...Google? Warren Weinstein's company's website was working fine until the 12th of August. Suddenly on the 13th, the site is 'under construction'. Just because someone has a good cover story (which most secret agents do) that is google-able, we cannot call them a CIA agent? Actually, I think it would be pretty stupid if the CIA agent does not have a proper cover story. Fanning anti-Americanism? Do you mean the likes of Genn Bleck, Debbie Schlusser and other neo-con crazies on CNN and FOX news?

Dr,A.K.Tewari | 8 years ago | Reply | Recommend

How much Blood money will be required for his release .

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