Tags: Al-Qaida | War on Terrorism | FBI | ransom | aid worker | drone strike | al-Qaida

WSJ: FBI Helped in Ransom of Aid Worker Later Killed in Drone Strike

Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 02:19 PM

The FBI assisted in a ransom payment to al-Qaida from the family of U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein in a failed bid for his freedom in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The ransom scheme was hatched just over two years before he was tragically killed in a U.S. drone strike in January, senior U.S. officials told the Journal.

To push the deal forward, the FBI reportedly gave the OK to a Pakistani middleman used by Weinstein's family to deliver the money.

Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto died in a CIA drone strike on an al-Qaida stronghold in Pakistan.

The Journal said the ransom payment didn't violate U.S. policy because it was never officially approved by the FBI. Rather, the agency stepped in to help when it was determined the family was going ahead with the swap.

Officials told the newspaper that FBI agents checked the background of the middleman who was to take a $250,000 payment to terrorists holding Weinstein to make sure the family wasn't being ripped off.

But it didn't work out.

The middleman told the Journal in a recent interview that the money — in $100 bills — was transferred to kidnappers in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in June 2012, but that Weinstein wasn’t set free.

Last week, President Barack Obama apologized for the drone strike.

The Journal said the FBI’s "previously undisclosed role reveals a contradiction in the U.S.' longstanding position against paying ransoms for hostages."

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The FBI assisted in a ransom payment to al-Qaida from the family of American aid worker Warren Weinstein in a failed bid for his freedom in 2012, The Wall Street Journal reports.
FBI, ransom, aid worker, drone strike, al-Qaida
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2015-19-29
Wednesday, 29 Apr 2015 02:19 PM
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