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Family Of Md. Man Being Held By Al-Qaeda Pleads For His Release

ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) -- A family is making an emotional plea to the president to negotiate the release of a Rockville man. That man is Warren Weinstein who is being held captive by al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan.

In a WJZ exclusive, his family talks to Vic Carter.

"It has been more than two years since I was taken prisoner by al-Qaeda," said Warren Weinstein in an al-Qaeda video.

The eerie video was released by al-Qaeda last December. It's the last time anyone has seen Weinstein, including his wife, Elaine.

"He was pale and gaunt and unanimated. Just a shell of himself," said Elaine Weinstein.

In August 2011, al-Qaeda operatives armed with AK-47s stormed the gate where Weinstein lived. They tortured and tied up the guards, then captured the Maryland man.

"He was in his house sleeping in the master bedroom behind locked doors," said Elaine Weinstein.

Warren Weinstein had safely lived in the high-security compound for years while working as a U.S. government contractor in Pakistan. He frequently traveled back to his home in Montgomery County to see his family.

Now, his wife and two daughters spend their days praying and fighting to bring him home for good. Elaine Weinstein is worried her husband will be forgotten.

"There was this release -- and he was not included -- and now what are they going to do? How are they going to get him back?" she asked.

The release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl just weeks ago is painful news for Weinstein's family. They wonder why he wasn't a part of the exchange that freed the former Taliban prisoner.

"When I thought about it, I was crushed.  Because it would have been nice if they traded five prisoners for five hostages," Elaine Weinstein said.

"If they were going to make a deal, it should have been for all the Americans in that area to be brought home," said Warren's daughter, Jennifer Coakley.

"You're now in your second term as President of the United States, and that means that you can take hard decisions without worrying about re-election. And so again I appeal to you to instruct your appropriate officials to negotiate my release," said Warren Weinstein in the al-Qaeda video.

If Elaine Weinstein could speak with President Obama right now, this is what she would say:

" as hard on getting my husband home as you worked to get the sergeant home. Please do whatever you can. He's a father, a grandfather, a husband, a gentle, kind man, who needs to be home with his family."

She has a mission.

"Just get people to know he's there and he needs attention and that they should lift every stone and look under it for ideas on how to get him and the other people home because that's where they belong," Elaine Weinsten said.

Weinstein's family tells WJZ they will never give up the fight to bring Warren home safely.

WJZ will keep you updated on their tireless efforts.

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