Wall Street Journal: Reporter was abducted
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- The Wall Street Journal says a staff reporter who has been missing since Wednesday has been abducted.
Steven Goldstein, a spokesman for the New York-based newspaper, told CNN the Journal received four photos of Daniel Pearl in an e-mail. One of the photos showed Pearl, 38, held at gunpoint; two others showed him chained; and the fourth showed him holding up a newspaper.
The photos were sent to another Journal correspondent via e-mail and revealed by the newspaper Sunday. The U.S. government is aware of the photos, Goldstein said. He said writing on them indicates the abductors think Pearl is a spy for the Central Intelligence Agency.
"The terrorists who seized Daniel Pearl have made a mistake," he said, emphasizing that Pearl has no connection with the CIA or the U.S. government.
"As a private citizen employed by an independent newspaper, neither Mr. Pearl nor we can change the policies of the governments of the United States or Pakistan. In the interests of humanity, terrorists should release Mr. Pearl immediately," he said.
He said the U.S. government is aware of the photos.
Did not check in
Pearl, 38, has been missing since Wednesday night, when he left his Karachi quarters to do an interview with an important source, Goldstein said. He did not check in that evening and has not been heard from since.
All of the newspaper's international correspondents who work in what Goldstein called dangerous areas are required to check in with the newspaper every evening, he said.
Reporters Without Borders, a group that supports press freedom, said Pearl was investigating Richard Reid, who is accused of carrying explosives in his shoes aboard a United States-bound flight last month.
In a statement released Friday, Reporters Without Borders' general secretary, Robert Ménard, expressed the group's concern over the matter, noting that it believes the Pakistani government is doing "everything in their power" to help find Pearl.
The Pakistani government has asked the governor and the police of Sindh province to launch a manhunt, the group said.
Pearl, a Stanford University graduate who joined the Journal in 1990, has been based in India since December 2000. Pearl's wife -- a French citizen now living in Karachi, Pakistan -- is several months pregnant, CNN has learned.
Pearl's disappearance follows the apparent abduction in Karachi Tuesday of Ghulam Hasnain, a Pakistani reporter working for Time magazine. Reporters Without Borders said Hasnain arrived home Thursday, but so far he has declined to comment on what has happened to him.
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