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December 26th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

Captive American Warren Weinstein Feels 'Totally Abandoned and Forgotten'

Saying he feels "totally abandoned and forgotten," kidnapped U.S. government contractor Warren Weinstein called on President Barack Obama to negotiate for his freedom in a video released by al Qaeda on Christmas.

The 72-year-old Weinstein was abducted from his home in the Pakistani city of Lahore in August 2011.

In the 13-minute video provided to the Washington Post, Weinstein appeals to the President, Secretary of State John Kerry, the American media, the American public and finally his family.

"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government and I did so at a time when most Americans would not come here," he said. "And now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."

This is the second video with him making a direct plea to the Obama administration. The first was released in May 2012.

Dressed in a light gray jacket and black cap, and sporting a full beard, Weinstein spoke with little emotion, saying he's not in good health, has a heart condition and suffers from acute asthma, before adding that "the years have taken their toll."

"Needless to say, I've been suffering deep anxiety every part of everyday, not knowing what is happening to my family and not knowing how they are and because I am not with them."

Weinstein said his captors have agreed to let his family visit him, but only if Obama agrees to do the same for al Qaeda members held by the United States.

"Unless you continue to try to get President Obama and his administration to actively pursue my release, we may never see each other again," he said.

U.S. officials have repeatedly said Washington will not bargain with al Qaeda. There was no immediate response from the Obama administration on the latest video.

Weinstein was captured after his kidnappers managed to overcome the three security guards who were protecting him.

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