No Claims For American's Abduction In Pakistan

Aug 14, 2011
Originally published on August 14, 2011 9:17 am
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JOHN YDSTIE, host: In Pakistan, the whereabouts of an American development expert remain unknown 24 hours after he was abducted by a group of armed men. The victim, identified as Warren Weinstein, was grabbed from his home in an upscale neighborhood of the eastern city of Lahore. From Islamabad, NPR's Julie McCarthy has more.

JULIE MCCARTHY: There's been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping of Warren Weinstein, who was taken by masked men wearing Western clothing in an operation that local authorities said was well-planned. Weinstein served as the Pakistan director of the Virginia-based international development consulting firm JE Austin. The firm stated on its website that Weinstein is a recognized expert in international development with 25 years' experience. By late Saturday, his profile and that of other employees had been removed from the company's site. JE Austin did not answer calls this weekend. Weinstein's profile on the social media site LinkedIn says he worked on a multimillion-dollar USAID project to improve dairy, horticulture and mining in Pakistan, including the militant-infiltrated tribal areas. The U.S. State Department last week issued a travel warning saying there was a growing threat of kidnapping across Pakistan. Saturday's abduction is likely to fuel questions about the security of Americans operating in Pakistan and comes at a time of heightened tension. Anti-American sentiment has surged since a CIA contractor killed two Pakistani men on the streets of Lahore earlier this year. The incident ignited a national furor over the presence of American contractors in Pakistan. A U.S. official said Warren Weinstein had been scheduled to leave Pakistan this week. Julie McCarthy, NPR News, Islamabad. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.