Skip to main content

Pakistan arrests man in Daniel Pearl's slaying

By Nasir Habib, CNN
March 19, 2013 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002.
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan in 2002.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Officials suspect Qari Abdul Hayee facilitated Daniel Pearl's kidnapping
  • The Wall Street Journal reporter was kidnapped and decapitated in 2002
  • A suspected 9/11 mastermind confessed to killing Pearl
  • He was in Karachi researching a story about militants and terrorism

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani officials have arrested a suspect in connection with the gruesome 2002 beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Qari Abdul Hayee is believed to be the one who facilitated Pearl's kidnapping, a senior Pakistani official said.

The official, who had direct knowledge of the arrest, did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Pearl was kidnapped while researching a story in Karachi about Pakistani militants and the so-called "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.

2011: Who really killed Daniel Pearl?

He was later decapitated, and a video of his killing was sent to U.S. officials.

The chilling video

In addition to showing violent footage of Pearl's death, the video also showed Pearl discussing his Jewish heritage and making propaganda statements, apparently under duress.

The tape began with the correspondent saying, "My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish-American."

"My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish. I am a Jew," he said.

Then, looking at the camera, he recounted numerous family visits to Israel and noted that a street in a town in Israel was named after his great-grandfather, who was one of the founders of the town.

On the tape, the group that claimed responsibility for Pearl's abduction -- the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan's Sovereignty -- demanded that Pakistanis being held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be released.

The group also demanded an end to the U.S. presence in Pakistan end as well as the delivery of F-16 fighter jets, which Pakistan purchased from the United States but never received.

Photos of hands backed up Pearl slaying confession, report finds

The arrest

Hayee was arrested Sunday in a paramilitary operation targeting militants in Karachi.

"It was a covert operation based on intelligence information," the Pakistani official said.

Troops also recovered weapons during the raid that netted Hayee, the official said.

Other suspects

Hayee joins several other suspects who have been arrested in connection with Pearl's kidnapping and murder.

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Islamic militant, was sentenced to death by hanging by an anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad in connection with Pearl's murder.

Three accomplices received life sentences, which in Pakistan usually means 25 years.

In 2003, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- who is also a suspected mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States -- was arrested in Pakistan and has confessed to killing Pearl.

Federal agents backed up Mohammed's confession by comparing photos of the veins in his hands and the vein patterns of an assailant in the video of Pearl's killing, according to a report by Georgetown University students and faculty and the Center for Public Integrity.

But Mohammed has not been charged in Pearl's death. According to the report, U.S. officials decided against bringing charges in the Pearl case to avoid complicating Mohammed's prosecution for the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda expert Rohan Gunaratna said Mohammed ordered Pearl's death.

"Daniel Pearl was going in search of the al Qaeda network that was operational in Karachi, and it was at the instruction of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that Daniel Pearl was killed," Gunaratna said.

Obama signs Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act

Words from his widow

Pearl's death should be a global wake-up call about "a vast and international network of terrorists," his widow said.

"I know Danny has not been defeated" by those who killed him, Mariane Pearl told CNN weeks after her husband's death. "His spirit, his faith and his conviction have not been defeated."

She said governments across the world must take responsibility for fighting terror and citizens should take an active role in considering their countries' foreign policies.

"If people in the world do not realize that they're not immune against this anymore, then nothing will," she said.

Mormon proxy baptism of Daniel Pearl draws family's ire

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0500 GMT (1300 HKT)
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0927 GMT (1727 HKT)
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0142 GMT (0942 HKT)
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1409 GMT (2209 HKT)
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT