Pakistani officials have said they arrested a terrorist who may provide the key for unlocking the mystery of who masterminded and carried out the brutal 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.
Pearl, who was Jewish, was murdered one month after he was taken into captivity on January 23, 2002 while traveling to interview a Muslim extremist in Pakistan. The beheading was filmed by the terrorists and sent to the U.S. Consulate. It was seen on the Internet, sending shock waves throughout the Western world.
Pearl’s body was found dismembered three months later.
The latest suspect in the kidnap-murder is Qari Abdul Hayee, whose name is similar to a suspect in a 2011 Georgetown student investigation called the Daniel Pearl Project.
Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel, stated after the report of the latest arrest, “We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny.”
“As with every journalist murder, any and all perpetrators in the slaying of Daniel Pearl must be prosecuted and punished,” said Committee for Protecting Journalists (CPS) Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “In order to curb growing impunity in Pakistan, it is imperative that authorities send the strongest possible signal that acts of anti-press violence will not go unpunished.”
Hayee, also known as Asadullah, was arrested on Sunday during a raid in Karachi.
It was not the first time he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the murder of Pearl.
In May 2003, he was taken into custody for allegedly murdering six Shiite Muslims and was linked in the planning and carrying out of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder.
He was sentenced to death for the murders of the Shiites but was not charged in the Pearl murder. Hayee was freed for some unknown reason.
A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that only four of the 27 men allegedly involved in his kidnapping and murder were charged and convicted, according to CPS.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 masterminds and who was questioned at Guantanamo Bay, claimed he ordered the kidnapping of Pearl and also claimed he personally beheaded him, but he never was charged in the case.
Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Muslim terrorist, was sentenced to death for Pearl’s murder, but no one really knows who actually killed the journalist.
Hayee may provide the answers.