Al-Qaida says group kidnapped American in Pakistan

December 2, 2011 13:24

DUBAI - Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of an American man in Pakistan and demanded the release of prisoners and an end to air strikes in Muslim countries in exchange for his freedom, according to an Internet statement.

Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri also said in an audio recording issued on Islamist websites late on Thursday that a senior al-Qaida leader based in Pakistan known as Attiyatullah had been killed in a US air strike in August.

"Just as the Americans detain all whom they suspect of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban, even remotely, we detained this man who has had an active part in American aid to Pakistan since the seventies," SITE quoted Zawahri as saying in the recording.

The US State Department is aware of the statement and continues to work with Pakistani authorities leading the investigation, a spokeswoman said.

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