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Pearl talks about Jewish heritage, government on captors' video

KARACHI, Pakistan (CNN) -- Slain American journalist Daniel Pearl discussed his Jewish heritage and made propaganda statements, under apparent duress, on a roughly produced videotape that also contained violent footage of his death.

CNN Correspondent Connie Chung viewed a copy of the videotape Tuesday. The tape included a direct threat to target other Americans if the demands of Pearl's kidnappers aren't met.

The original videotape was sent to Pakistani authorities last week, who turned it over to U.S. officials. The copy, which lasted three minutes and 15 seconds, was more than 30 seconds shorter than the original videotape, but sources authenticated it as consistent with the original.

The tape began with the Wall Street Journal reporter saying, "My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish-American. My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am a Jew." 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.

Pearl's kidnappers had accused him of being an agent for the CIA and for the Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. The Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government adamantly denied that he was a spy.

The family of Daniel Pearl has established a charity "to support the causes to which he dedicated his life."

Donations can be sent to:
Daniel Pearl Family Foundation c/o The Wall Street Journal
P.O. Box 300
Princeton, N.J. 08543 U.S.A.

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Following the discussion of Pearl's heritage, there was a clear edit in the tape. Pearl can be seen looking at the camera and struggling to make statements from memory.

"Not knowing anything about my situation, not being able to communicate with anybody, and only now do I think about some of the people in Guantanamo Bay. They must be in a similar situation, and I have come to realize that this is the sort of problem that Americans are going to have anywhere in the world now," he said.

Among the demands Pearl's kidnappers had made is that Pakistani nationals being held by the U.S. military at the Guantanamo Bay base in Cuba be released. The detainees are associated with the al Qaeda network and the deposed Taliban government of Afghanistan.

Pearl then looked off camera and makes this statement: "We can't be secure, we can't walk around free, as long as our government policies are continuing and we allow them to continue."

There is another clear edit in the tape, and Pearl then is shown saying, "We as Americans cannot continue to bear the consequences of our government's actions, such as the unconditional support of the state of Israel."

In the tape, Pearl does not appear to have been beaten. In some segments, his hair is mussed, while in others, it is slicked back.

The section of the videotape where Pearl is seen speaking lasts about 90 seconds. As he speaks, pictures of bodies and funerals and words, such as "Afghanistan," are superimposed on the screen.

According to Chung, that portion of the tape is then followed by a 50-second section containing graphic scenes of violence against Pearl.

"I will not describe [the violent scenes] out of respect to Daniel Pearl and his family," Chung said.

Other sources who have viewed the tape said the it shows Pearl being stabbed and decapitated, although it is unclear whether he was still alive at the time. His body has not been found.

After the violence sequence, a picture of Pearl appears on the tape with a title -- National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan's Sovereignty -- superimposed on the screen. That group claimed responsibility for Pearl's kidnapping.

The group's demands then scroll from the bottom to the top of the screen, including demands that Pakistanis at Guantanamo be released, that the U.S. presence in Pakistan end and that F-16 fighters -- which Pakistan purchased from the United States but never received -- be delivered.

The tape ends with a threat that if these demands aren't met, what happened to Pearl could happen to other Americans in Pakistan.



 
 
 
 






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