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Daniel Pearl slay suspect arrested in Pakistan

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An Islamic extremist leader believed to be involved in the decade old beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has been arrested in Karachi, Pakistan, authorities said.

Qari Abdul Hayee, who goes by nom de guerre Asadullah, was taken into custody during a raid Sunday on his hideout by the paramilitary Sindh Rangers, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Mr. Hayee is the former president of the local chapter of the extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Dawn reported.

Mr. Hayee was implicated in a 2011 report about the murder of Pearl, a Jewish-American journalist, by Georgetown University.

Mr. Pearl, 38, was the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal when he was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002, while researching a story about extremists in Pakistan.

A graphic video showing his decapitation was delivered to the U.S. consulate in the city nearly a month later.

Mr. Hayee was one of 14 alleged conspirators still believed free in Pakistan, the Georgetown report stated.

Mr. Pearl’s parents Ruth and Judea Pearl, who live in southern California, welcomed the news Monday in a statement issued through the New York-based Daniel Pearl Foundation.

“We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny,” they said

In 2002, four men were convicted of the murder.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death and Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem and Shaikh Adil were given 25-year sentences.

But the Georgetown report says that, in their eagerness to close the case, Pakistani authorities relied on what they knew to be perjured testimony to secure the conviction of Sheikh for the actual killing.

In reality, al Qaeda leader and accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had beheaded Mr. Pearl, and he publicly confessed during a 2007 military tribunal hearing at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

He has yet to be charged with the crime.

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