Category Archive 'Daniel Pearl'

12 Oct 2006

US Officials Confirm Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Murdered Daniel Pearl

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Time Magazine reports that US officials have confirmed Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s account that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the actual murderer of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

several U.S. officials tell TIME that KSM’s role in the Pearl murder appears more direct than previously acknowledged — and that the Bush Administration plans to try him for it. The officials tell TIME that KSM confessed under CIA interrogation that he personally committed the murder. Moreover, when he faces a military tribunal at Guantanamo, perhaps as soon as next year, the U.S. plans to charge him not only with the 9/11 plot, but also with direct responsibility for Pearl’s death.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad (KSM) was one of 14 “high value” prisoners recently moved to the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from secret CIA prisons overseas. In announcing the transfer on Sept. 6, President Bush also promised to try some of the most important captives in military tribunals, a plan that Congress approved last month.

One former U.S. national security official tells TIME there is no doubt that KSM personally wielded the knife that killed the Wall Street Journal reporter. This official says that Ahmad Omar Saed Sheik insisted under interrogation that taking Pearl’s life was not at first part of the kidnap plot — though Sheik also told his questioners that Pearl’s kidnappers could never have released him because he was Jewish. But as the scheme unfolded, someone senior to him in the al-Qaeda hierarchy, known as “the fat man,” took control of the operation and beheaded Pearl.

Sheik never identified KSM as the actual killer, however. The FBI deduced KSM’s role only after analyzing a video of the crime, in which only the perpetrator’s hands are visible. That video was released by Islamic militants soon after Pearl’s murder and then widely shown on Arab television and the Internet. Eventually, the FBI obtained its own version of the original video, as well as the camera used to photograph the murder.

Once KSM was taken into custody in March 2003, a comparison of the hands shown in the video and KSM’s own hands, along with other evidence, confirmed the FBI’s suspicions. Then, under interrogation, KSM confessed, national security officials told TIME, admitting without remorse that he personally severed Pearl’s head and telling interrogators he had to switch knives after the first one “got dull.”

EARLIER POSTING

26 Sep 2006

Finding Daniel Pearl’s Body

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The London Times quotes Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf‘s account of how Pakistani authorities found Daniel Pearl‘s body and apprehended some of his killers, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is believed to have been Pearl’s actual executioner.

In May 2002 we arrested someone named Fazal Karim, a militant activist. When we interrogated him we discovered that he was involved in Pearl’s slaughter. He also told us that he knew where Pearl was buried.

He was asked how he knew. Chillingly, he said he knew because he had actually participated in the slaughter by holding one of Pearl’s legs. But he didn’t know the name of the person who had actually slit Pearl’s throat. All he could say is that this person was “Arab-looking”.

He led us to the small house in a neighbourhood in Karachi where Daniel Pearl had been held captive. He then took us to a plot of land near by and told us where he was buried. We exhumed the body and found it in ten badly decomposed pieces. Our doctors stitched the pieces back together as best as they could.

The man who may have actually killed Pearl or at least participated in his butchery, we eventually discovered, was none other than Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, al-Qaeda’s No 3. When we later arrested and interrogated him, he admitted his participation.


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