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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Pearl's Kidnappers Extend Deadline By One Day

Aired January 31, 2002 - 09:05   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN FINANCIAL ANCHOR: As we've been telling you, today is the execution deadline set by the kidnapper of the "Wall Street" reporter Daniel Pearl. It is thought he is being held somewhere in Pakistan.

CNN State Department Correspondent Andrea Koppel joins us now with the latest on the kidnappers new threat and their demands -- Andrea, what can you tell us?

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jack. Well, imagine waking up this morning and opening your e-mail up and finding pictures like these. That is exactly what has happened in recent days to the colleagues of "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl. They found these photographs, which I'm sure we'll be putting up on the screen in a moment, of Mr. Pearl being held at gun point and others.

They've also found an e-mail message from the kidnappers. In the message, the latest one, they've said, "we've interrogated Mr. D. Pearl and we've come to the conclusion that he is not working for the CIA. In fact," the kidnappers write, "he is working for the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Therefore," they continue to say, "we will execute him within 24 hours unless America fulfills our demands."

Now, since those e-mails have come out, there have been appeals from all sorts of people for his release. The most recent one coming from the former heavyweight champion Mohammed Ali. We've also heard appeals from the "Wall Street Journal," as well as the U.S. State Department.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The "Wall Street Journal" has made clear in their message that he has no connection with anybody but the "Wall Street Journal." He disappeared a week ago, now. Once again, we say he needs to be released immediately and unconditionally. We are working very closely with the Pakistani authorities, with the Pakistani police, U.S. law enforcement officials are there to assist as they can. Cooperation is close. We're very concerned about his safety, and we hope that he can be located and freed soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KOPPEL: Now what did the kidnappers want? They want the release of all the Pakistani prisoners who are being held in Guantanamo, Cuba. They want the repatriation of the Taliban's former ambassador to Pakistan, and, interestingly, they also want the release of F-16 fighter jets that Pakistan purchased a number of years ago, but both Pakistani diplomats and the State Department tell me, Jack, that in fact that matter was settled years ago.

The bottom line, right now, is the State Department has re-issued a travel warning for all American citizens to be on alert if they were to travel to Pakistan because, in addition to threatening Danny Pearl, the kidnappers are also threatening all American journalists, giving them three days to get out of Pakistan -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Andrea, we've got breaking news. Sit with me for a second here, because I want to go back to what you were talking about, but the news is important to what you are talking about. The deadline, apparently, has been extended for one more day by the kidnappers. We learned this through an e-mail. I've been handed some wire coming in, take a quick look at it (ph).

E-mail has been received from the kidnappers claiming to hold the kidnapped "Wall Street Journal" reporter, and it says, "we will give you one more day." The group had earlier threatened to kill Daniel Pearl.

So apparently, there is another 24 hours if this e-mail is to be believed, but I wanted to ask you a question about the United States. How do they know they're getting all the help they should or could be getting out of the Pakistanis in an effort to find Mr. Pearl and perhaps save his life?

KOPPEL: Well, they know because the FBI has had a team on the ground there since the very beginning for more than a week. They're working hand in hand with Pakistani intelligence services, the military, with all available personnel, we're told, on the ground in Pakistan.

And not to mention that earlier this month, our viewers will probably remember Pakistan's president delivered what was really heralded as a historic speech, saying that he was going to do everything within his power to crack down on terrorism, to root it out. He had his people arrest more than 2,200 alleged terrorists on the ground, so the U.S. believes that the Pakistanis are serious about trying to root out terrorism, and they also believe they're doing everything they can right now -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: Andrea, thanks very much. Andrea Koppel at the State Department. Let me just repeat this quickly, this just crossed: An e-mail has been received from the kidnappers claiming to hold the "Wall Street Journal" reporter, saying -- quote -- "we will give one more day."

The group had threatened to kill Daniel Pearl today, now it says it is granting more time for its demands to be met. If not, it says the Americans -- quote -- "will get what they deserve" -- unquote.

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