Family of Jewish Victim of U.S. Drone Strike 'Disappointed' by Washington

Obama has said he takes responsibility for mission that killed Warren Weinstein, an American Jew, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian.

AP

The family of a Jewish Al-Qaida hostage killed in a U.S. drone strike is disappointed in how Washington dealt with the situation, the hostage’s wife said in a statement.

Elaine Weinstein said Thursday the assistance her family received from the U.S. government was “inconsistent and disappointing.”

President Barack Obama said earlier in the day that he takes full responsibility for the January counterterrorism mission that inadvertently killed Warren Weinstein, an American Jew, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian.

“We hope that my husband’s death and the others who have faced similar tragedies in recent months will finally prompt the U.S. government to take its responsibilities seriously and establish a coordinated and consistent approach to supporting hostages and their families,” she said.

“We were so 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,” the statement said. “We do not yet fully understand all of the facts surrounding Warren’s death, but we do understand that the U.S. government will be conducting an independent investigation of the circumstances.”

Obama spoke with Elaine Weinstein as well as Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

The White House said compensation would be paid to the Weinstein and Lo Porto families.

Weinstein, 73, of Rockville, Maryland, was kidnapped in August 2011 outside Pakistan while he was working for J.E. Austin Associates, a private company that advises Pakistani businesses.

Weinstein, who was captured as he neared the end of a contract assignment with the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Lo Porto were killed during a drone strike against an Al-Qaida compound in Pakistan, near the Afghan border.