WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in response to the deaths of Marylander Warren Weinstein and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto. Weinstein was kidnapped by al-Qaeda while serving as a contractor in Pakistan for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Dr. Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto. Their legacies of altruism, compassion and service to mankind stand in sharp contrast to that of their captors. Their kidnapping and deaths should further unite the international community against the type of extremists who find this deplorable behavior acceptable.
“Warren and his wife Elaine are constituents from Rockville, making this tragedy all the more personal and heart wrenching. I have tracked Warren Weinstein’s status since he was first taken hostage in 2011. The United States government, including members of my staff, worked tirelessly to bring him home safely. The manner in which Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto were killed makes this situation all the more difficult to process. He and the men and women like him, of all nationalities, who give of themselves to better the world, are assets to humanity.
“The United States and our allies must work to ensure that the men and women who dedicate their lives to international development are properly safeguarded against threats. As Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will do all in my power to ensure that Warren Weinstein, his family, and fellow aid workers see justice for his needless suffering at the hands of al-Qaeda. I have requested a full account of the events that led to Dr. Weinstein’s and Mr. Lo Porto’s deaths.”