Report of Islam conversion a 'slur,' says Lo Porto's family

Sister in says hostage would never have changed faith

(ANSA) - Rome, June 18 - Giovanni Lo Porto's family said Thursday that al-Qaeda claims that the Italian hostage and a fellow captive, American Warren Weinstein, converted to Islam before being killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in January were nothing more than a slur. The SITE Intelligence Group cited al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) as making the claim. AQIS posted online photos of the two captives dated January 14, 24 hours before the raid. "We are indignant and disgusted by what is being written," his sister-in-law Giovanna Piazza told ANSA in the name of the whole family. "Not only did they kill him, now they are covering his name in mud. "He was a pearl of a person, a golden person. Knowing him, he would never have converted. He believed only in one God". Lo Porto, a 39-year-old aid worker for German NGO Welt HungerHilfe, was kidnapped in Pakistan in January 2012.
    "His mother is angry and wounded," added Piazza. "Not just for the pain of losing a son, but also because seeing these things written months after is an offense to his memory.
    "Giovanni died to help others and writing this stuff about him is shameful".