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President Obama during a press conference on April 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

American consultant Warren Weinstein, 73, who was captured by al-Qaida in 2011, was killed in a January drone strike aimed at the militant group, President Barack Obama said today.

“Under the terms of a secret arrangement brokered in 2004, the C.I.A. was allowed to conduct lethal strikes inside the tribal areas of Pakistan,” the New York Times reports. “But neither the American nor the Pakistani government could acknowledge their existence.” 

The U.S. government’s counter-terrorism measures also killed Giovanni Lo Porto, a Sicily-born aid worker who had been held captive since 2012.

“I do not have much to add,” Lo Porto’s brother, Guiseppe, told The Guardian. “Obama has apologized? Thanks.”

In a video released by al-Qaida in 2013, Weinstein said he felt “totally abandoned and forgotten.”

Today his wife, Elaine, released a statement. In it, she wrote that her family was “hopeful that those in the U.S. and Pakistani governments with the power to take action and secure his release would have done everything possible to do so and there are no words to do justice to the disappointment and heartbreak we are going through.”





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