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Kidnapped US aid contractor reportedly held by militants in Pakistan

Some five months after Warren Weinstein was kidnapped, the US aid contractor is reported to be in the custody of a Pakistani Al Qaeda affiliate, McClatchy Newspapers reports.

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A kidnapped American aid contractor is alive and in good health, being held by a Pakistani Al Qaeda affiliate that's likely to use him as a bargaining chip, according to militants, security officials, and analysts.

Warren Weinstein, who was kidnapped in August from his home in Lahore, Pakistan, is in the custody of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militants in North Waziristan, a ranking Pakistani militant told McClatchy. The militant said he'd seen Mr. Weinstein last month and at that point "his health was fine."

"He is being provided all available medical treatment, including regular checkups by a doctor and the medicines prescribed for him before he was plucked," the militant, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said last week in an interview.

Little has been revealed publicly about Weinstein's status since December, when Ayman al Zawahiri, the head of Al Qaeda, said in a video that the terrorist network was holding him.

Weinstein, who's from Rockville, Md., spent several years as the Pakistan country manager for J.E. Austin Associates, a contractor for the US Agency for International Development. Reportedly in ill health, he'd packed his bags and was within hours of leaving Pakistan for good on Aug. 13 when militants kidnapped him from his home in the affluent suburb of Model Town.

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