LAHORE, Pakistan, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- American Warren Weinstein, who was abducted in August, is being held hostage by al-Qaida, leader Ayman al-Zawahiri said in a recording.
"Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who is neck-deep in American aid to Pakistan since the '70s," Zawahiri said in a translation of the recording provided by the monitoring group SITE, the Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday.
Weinstein, who headed consulting firm J.E. Austin Associates' operation in Pakistan, was abducted in Lahore in August a few days before his planned return to the United States.
Ehtesham Ullah Khan, a gemologist who knew Weinstein, told the Monitor he was "really shocked to hear" of the kidnapping.
"He was a very nice person and, to me, he made many friends as compared to no enemies," Khan said.