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Video shows American hostage begging for freedom

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The State Department is working to authenticate a purported al Qaeda video showing an American hostage begging to be freed.

"Nine years ago, I came to Pakistan to help my government," says the man in the video. "Now, when I need my government, it seems I have been totally abandoned and forgotten."

The 13-minute video is with 72-year-old Warren Weinstein and was released on Christmas Day.

The American contract worker was taken from his home in Pakistan several years ago.

In the video he goes on to urge President Obama to negotiate with al Qaeda for his freedom.

"I would like to ask my family not to give up hope, but unless you continue to try to get Obama and his administration to actively pursue my release, we may never see each other again."

Last year, al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri boasted of Weinstein's capture and called on followers to kidnap other western targets to negotiate for the release of the 1993 World Trade Center bomber currently in custody.