Warren Weinstein’s family has issued a statement following President Obama’s announcement that Weinstein and another hostage had been accidentally killed during a U.S. counterterrorism strike.
Weinstein was a humanitarian aid worker who was the country director in Pakistan for J.E. Austin Associates, a U.S.-based development contractor that advises different Pakistani business and government sectors. He was kidnapped in 2011 when gunmen tricked his guards and broke into his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore. He was held hostage for more than three and a half years.
According to the Washington Post, Elaine Weinstein issued the following statement on behalf of Warren’s family.
“On behalf of myself, our two daughters, our son-in-law, and two grandchildren, we are devastated by this news and the knowledge that my husband will never safely return home.
“We were so hopeful that those in the U.S. and Pakistani governments with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so and there are no words to do justice to the disappointment and heartbreak we are going through.
“We do not yet fully understand all of the facts surrounding Warren’s death but we do understand that the U.S. government will be conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances. We look forward to the results of that investigation. But those who took Warren captive over three years ago bear ultimate responsibility. I can assure you that he would still be alive and well if they had allowed him to return home after his time abroad working to help the people of Pakistan.
“The cowardly actions of those who took Warren captive and ultimately to the place and time of his death are not in keeping with Islam and they will have to face their God to answer for their actions.
“Warren spent his entire life working to benefit people across the globe and loved the work that he did to make people’s lives better. In Pakistan, where he was working before he was abducted, he loved and respected the Pakistani people and their culture. He learned to speak Urdu and did everything he could to show his utmost and profound respect for the region.
“We cannot even begin to express the pain our family is going through and we ask for the respect of our privacy as we go through this devastating ordeal.
“I want to thank Congressman John Delaney, Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Senator Ben Cardin – as well as specific officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation – for their relentless efforts to free my husband. Unfortunately, the assistance we received from other elements of the U.S. Government was inconsistent and disappointing over the course of three and a half years. We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. Government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families.
“I am disappointed in the government and military in Pakistan. Warren’s safe return should have been a priority for them based on his contributions to their country, but they failed to take action earlier in his captivity when opportunity presented itself, instead treating Warren’s captivity as more of an annoyance than a priority. I hope the nature of our future relationship with Pakistan is reflective of how they prioritize situations such as these.”
As the Inquisitr previously reported, the White House released a statement on Thursday announcing the two deaths. While the statement did not clarify how the men were killed, it is speculated that their deaths resulted from a drone strike. President Obama then addressed the nation, taking full responsibility for Weinstein’s death.
“I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida,” Obama said from the White House briefing room, according to 4 NBC Washington. “I profoundly regret what happened. We will identify the lessons that can be learned from this tragedy and any changes that should be made.”
[Photo via YouTube screen shot]