- KARACHI (Reuters) - Kidnapped
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has been executed by his captors
in what Pakistan's president on Friday called a gruesome murder videotaped
by his abductors.
- The Washington Post said Pearl, abducted in Karachi on
January 23, had his throat slit with a knife in a tape that was sent to
Pakistan and U.S. authorities.
- President Bush called the killing a "criminal, barbaric"
act and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf ordered an immediate nationwide
roundup of suspects with any possible ties to Islamic militant groups linked
to the kidnapping.
- Pearl, 38, disappeared in Karachi as he tried to make
contact with Islamic radical groups and investigate possible links between
alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
- The group that had claimed to hold Pearl, calling itself
The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, accused
him of being a spy -- first for the CIA, then for Israeli intelligence
-- and said it was protesting U.S. treatment of Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners.
- Pearl's family said it was a "senseless murder"
that had silenced "a gentle soul."
- A statement issued by local authorities in Pakistan said
a videotape received by Pakistani and U.S. officials showed scenes of Pearl's
- "The recorded videotape contained scenes showing
Daniel Pearl in captivity and scenes of his murder by the kidnappers,"
- One U.S. official in Washington called the tape "very
gruesome." He provided no details.
- The Washington Post, citing a source close to the investigation,
reported the tape showed Pearl speaking, as if he were conducting an interview,
when suddenly an assailant grabbed him and slit his throat.
- Pearl's body has not been found and it is unclear when
he was executed.
- Lonnie Kelley, U.S. Public Affairs officer at the U.S.
consulate in Karachi, said "both Pakistan and U.S. investigators have
identified the perpetrators behind the crime."
- "Pearl's murder is outrageous and the United States
is determined to bring the perpetrators to justice," Kelley told Reuters.
- "We are heartbroken," Wall Street Journal Publisher
Peter Kann and Managing Editor Paul Steiger said in a statement.
- "His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a
mockery of everything Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in," they
said. "Their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani
- Pearl's family called him "a beloved son, a brother,
an uncle, a husband and a father to a child who will never know him."
Pearl's wife Mariane, who was with him in Karachi, is more than six months
pregnant with their first child, a son.
- BUSH SADDENED BY PEARL'S DEATH
- In Beijing, President Bush said he was deeply saddened
by Pearl's death, saying the killing would only hurt the cause of his captors.
- "All Americans are sad and angry to learn of the
murder," Bush told reporters in Beijing, where he is on the final
day of a six-day trip to Asia.
- "Those who would threaten Americans, those who would
engage in criminal, barbaric acts, need to know that these crimes only
hurt their cause and only deepen the resolve of the United States of America
to rid the world of these agents of terror."
- In Islamabad, Pakistan President Musharraf vowed every
member of the kidnap gang would be hunted down.
- "General Musharraf has directed the government of
Sindh (the province where Pearl was kidnapped) and other national security
agencies to apprehend each and every member of the gang of terrorists linked
to this gruesome murder," a statement by the president's office said.
- Pearl, the Journal's South Asian bureau chief based in
Bombay, India, for the past two years, had been working in Karachi for
three weeks when he was kidnapped.
- Friends said Pearl was smart, sweet, soft-spoken, self-effacing
and unlikely to take unreasonable risks. He also was a talented fiddler,
guitarist and classical violinist. One of three children, Pearl's father
was an academic and his mother a computer consultant.
- Pearl's family said in their statement that "up
until a few hours ago we were confident that Danny would return safely,
for we believed no human being would be capable of harming such a gentle
- Outside the temporary newsroom in New York of The Wall
Street Journal, which was displaced after the September 11 attacks near
its downtown offices, Journal reporters said they had been asked by management
not to talk about Pearl.
- One unidentified reporter said people inside the newsroom
were extremely upset. Another called Pearl's death "a despicable act."
- 'JUST A REGULAR GUY'
- "He was just a regular guy doing his job. He wouldn't
hurt a fly. It's just disgusting," the reporter said.
- Pearl, a Princeton, New Jersey, native, grew up in the
suburbs of Los Angeles and graduated from Stanford University.
- He began his career at small newspapers in Massachusetts
before becoming a business reporter at the Pulitzer Prize-winning Berkshire
Eagle in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in the 1980s. He joined the Journal
in 1990, working in Atlanta, Washington, London and Paris before moving
- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan saluted the courage
of Pearl and other journalists around the world. "The crime highlights
the enormous dangers encountered by journalists, particularly in areas
of conflict and violence," Annan said through his spokesman, Fred
- In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists called
Pearl's death "brutal, wanton, and senseless."
- Earlier on Thursday, Fahad Naseem, one of three men accused
of involvement in the kidnapping said Pearl was abducted because he was
a Jew working against Islam, his lawyer said.
- Pakistan police in early February arrested Naseem and
two other suspects for sending e-mails to media organizations that showed
Pearl in captivity.
- The Journal is owned by publisher Dow Jones & Co.