Thursday 20 January 2011

Final report on kidnap and murder of Daniel Pearl

After a three-year investigation, The Pearl Project, based at Georgetown University has published its final report on the January 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl says that 27 men were involved in Pearl's kidnapping and murder, although only four have been charged and convicted, including former British public schoolboy Omar Sheikh. Fourteen others remain free. The murder itself was carried out personally by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on America.
KSM has previously confessed to the murder. There were doubts about the veracity of the confession after it was revealed that KSM had been 'waterboarded' - an extreme form of torture. However FBI and CIA officials later used a technique called vein-matching to compare the hand of the killer in the murder video with a photograph of KSM's hand.
The report says that the conspirators were inept, failed to cover their tracks and were even unable to operate video equipment properly. However, the Pakistani investigation into the murder was even more inept. The Pakistani authorities knowingly used perjured testimony to pin the actual murder on Omar Sheikh, even though he had only been involved in the kidnapping. Neither Sheikh nor his three co-conspirators were present when Pearl was decapitated by KSM. They, in turn, are using KSM's confession as the basis for an appeal that is now before the Pakistani courts.

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