Pakistan Arrests Asadullah in Connection with 2002 Murder of Daniel Pearl

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Pakistini officials report they have arrested a man in connection with the 2002 beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

Qari Abdul Hayee, popularly known as Asadullah, is believed to have facilitated Pearl’s kidnapping, according to a senior Pakistani official who remained unidentified because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

Asadullah, former senior leader of a banned militant outfit, was arrested Sunday in Karachi by the Rangers paramilitary force. Weapons were also recovered during the arrest.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped while researching a story in Karachi about Islamist militants and the “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.

On a video that was later delivered to the U.S. consulate, Pearl was forced to make propaganda statements, discussing his Jewish heritage: "My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish-American."

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

Looking into the camera, Pearl recounted trips to Israel and town there named for his great-grandfather.

After nine days in captivity, he was then violently beheaded on camera.

The group claiming responsibility on tape, the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan’s Sovereignty, also demanded that the U.S. release all Pakistani prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The main goal of the plan was to free Al-Qaeda members from Guantanamo detention camp.

Pearl’s kidnapping and murder was carried about by a group of Islamic extremists led by British-born Ahmed Saeed Sheikh, otherwise known as Sheikh Omar. He was arrested and convicted with three others in 2002 by an anti-terror court. Two others wanted in connection with the crime were later killed in police encounters.

Omar and three others convicted of life imprisonment await appeal.

Source: CNN, New York Daily News