Probe: Daniel Pearl was killed by Yemenis

Published August 18th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl was killed by an Arab after he tried to escape from kidnappers who seized him eight days earlier, Pakistani police said Sunday.  


Two investigators said the information was gleaned from three men who led police in May to a body that was identified by DNA tests as Pearl. The three — Naeem Bukhari, Fazal Karim and Zubair Chishti — have not been charged in the Pearl case and Pakistani authorities have not even acknowledged publicly that they are in custody.  


Pearl, 38, was kidnapped Jan. 23 in Karachi. The three men were detained as the trial of four other alleged kidnappers was under way. The four were later convicted and one of them, British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, was sentenced to death by hanging.  


According to the two police officers, the abduction started on the night of Jan. 23 when Saeed telephoned his accomplices and ordered them to pick up Pearl in front of the Village Restaurant. According to AP, Pearl was put in one car, which was followed by a second containing three other kidnappers. The two vehicles followed Bukhari, who led the convoy on a motorcycle to the shack where Pearl was to be held.  


Police said that on the sixth day, Pearl tried to escape as he was being led to the toilet. However, he was seized by Karim and Chishti, who beat him and shot him in the leg.  


The struggle made so much noise that students at a nearby Islamic school ran out onto the roof to see what was happening, police said. A day after the escape attempt, police said, Bukhari told his fellow kidnappers that they had to kill Pearl.  


The kidnappers waited a day while they deliberated issuing a ransom demand, the officers said. On the ninth day of the kidnapping, three Arabs, whom the suspects believed to have been Yemenis, were brought to the hideout, the police said.  

Police said the kidnappers began asking Pearl a series of questions about his religion and his background as one of the Arabs filmed it with a video camera.  


Suddenly, Karim seized Pearl's hands and one of the Arabs slit his throat, the officers said. (

© 2002 Al Bawaba (

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