Skip to main content

Pakistan arrests man in Daniel Pearl's slaying

By Nasir Habib, CNN
updated 11:43 AM EDT, Tue March 19, 2013
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
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
British journalist John Cantlie hadn't been seen in nearly two years. Now, he's the latest hostage to be paraded out by ISIS.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 7:03 PM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Alibaba's IPO is unlike anything investors have ever seen and could threaten other online retailers. Maggie Lake reports.
updated 11:58 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Indian PM Narendra Modi has said al Qaeda will fail if it seeks to spread its terror network into his country.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
 Tennis Player Li Na attends the WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party as guests enjoy Ciroc Vodka presented by Dubai Duty Free at Kensington Roof Gardens on June 19, 2014 in London,
Asia's first grand slam singles champion Li Na has called time on her 15-year tennis career.
Jenson Button has some of quickest reactions ever shown at an advanced sports lab.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
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