A suspect in the 2002 beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has been arrested in Karachi, Pakistan, according to a senior Pakistani official. The U.S. State Department has not confirmed the report.
The Pakistani official, who is speaking anonymously, identified the suspect as Qari Abdul Hayee, also known by the alias Asadullah. Hayee was taken into custody Sunday in a “covert operation based on intelligence information.” He is currently being interrogated and officials expect to make additional arrests with information gained during the interrogation.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Gosselin released a statement saying, "We have seen news reports that Pakistani security forces in Karachi arrested the former chief of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Qari Abdul Hayee, on March 17. We cannot confirm those news reports and refer you to the Government of Pakistan for more information. The United States is firmly committed to identifying all the perpetrators involved in Mr. Pearl’s murder and bringing them to justice. We refer you to DOJ for further questions.”
Pearl’s family says they “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."
Pearl was abducted in Karachi on January 23, 2002 while gathering information for a story on the alleged link between “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and Al-Qaeda militants. The group behind the abduction, National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan's Sovereignty, demanded the release of all Pakistani detainees held by the U.S. and the delivery of an order of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan in exchange for Pearl’s life. Pearl was beheaded on February 1, 2002 and a video of his death was released.
Marianne Pearl penned a memoir called “A Mighty Heart” about her husband. The book was made into a film in 2007.
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