NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama says he takes “full responsibility” for a counterterrorism operation that inadvertently killed an American and an Italian hostage held by al Qaeda.

The president said he profoundly regrets the deaths of American Warren Weinstein and Italian National Giovanni Lo Porto.

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“The cowardly actions of those who took Warren captive and ultimately to the place and time of his death are not in keeping with Islam and they will have to face their God to answer for their actions,” Weinstein’s wife Elaine said in a statement.

Here are some facts about Dr. Warren Weinstein:

Weinstein, 73, was an American humanitarian aid worker and economic development advisor who was abducted from his home in Lahore, Pakistan on August 13, 2011.

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He earned a doctorate degree from Columbia University in 1970.

He was from Rockville, Md., and was a former professor at State University of New York at Oswego.

In 2012, al Qaeda released three proof of life videos. A third proof of life video was released in Dec. 2013.

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Weinstein leaves behind his wife Elaine, two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren.