Lahore: Pakistani security agencies have arrested a Taliban terrorist allegedly involved in the kidnapping of an American aid worker who was accidentally killed in a US drone strike targeting Al-Qaeda. Police along with intelligence agency officials raided a house in Lahore’s densely-populated Chungi Amar Sidhu area yesterday and arrested Rameez Yasin, Punjab chapter leader of Tahreek-i-Taliban, a senior police official said.
Police claimed that Yasin was involved in the kidnapping of 73-year-old Warren Weinstein from Lahore’s Model Town in 2011 and he took the American aid worker to tribal belt of the country with the help of his accomplices.
Five hand grenades and weapons were also recovered from him during the raid, police said, claiming that he had plans to target some sensitive places in the city. The Taliban leader has been shifted to undisclosed location for investigation. Weinstein and one Italian who had been held hostage by Al-Qaeda in the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan were killed in a US counterterrorism operation in January, the White House had announced in April.
The hostages were kept at an Al-Qaeda compound which was struck by a US drone. The operation also resulted in the death of an American al Qaeda leader, Ahmed Farouq. The CIA officials who had ordered the drone strike after surveillance said they had no idea about the presence of the American and Italian hostages there.
Weinstein was abducted from Lahore four days before his seven-year stint with the US Agency for International Development was due to end. Al-Qaeda had asked to trade him for members of the militant group being held by the United States.
Weinstein had made several video appeals, asking President Barack Obama to negotiate his release as his health deteriorated.