New investigation into murder of Daniel Pearl released


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

On Thursday, The Center for Public Integrity released a new report detailing the circumstances of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. The report confirms that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was the terrorist who ultimately killed Pearl. Another senior al Qaeda operative, Saif al Adel, reportedly involved KSM in the plot after Pakistani terrorist groups orchestrated the initial kidnapping.

The report’s authors note that there was seamless cooperation between Pakistani terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Janghvi (LeJ), which took the lead in the kidnapping, and al Qaeda. Members of other Pakistani terrorist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HUM), and Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) were also involved in Pearl’s kidnapping and murder, according to the report.

In his book, Who Killed Daniel Pearl? (2003), Bernard-Henri L

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

Tags: , , ,


  • Charu says:

    Although KSM personally butchered Daniel Pearl, the late journalist was effectively killed by the ISI operative Omar Saeed Sheikh. All these Pakistani terror organizations are controlled and tightly run by the ISI. Therefore, if by 2002 AQ and the Pakistani jihadists were in alliance, then by extension the ISI/Pakistani military were also allied with AQ at that time. While the Pakistanis did not mind turning over KSM, they’ve kept Omar Sheikh in “protective custody” to keep him from spilling the beans on their alliance with AQ. The whole corrupt festering mob syndicate that is the Pakistani military would collapse if we ever got our hands on Omar Sheikh (and AQ Khan).

  • Charley says:

    It is confusing when there are two Sheikhs (KSM and OSS), and both are depraved killers. But what is clear is the systematic role of Pakistan and ISI in killing our people and troops.
    It would be nice if someone figures out how many of US troop fatalities and injuries in OEF are directly or indirectly attributable to Pakistan playing both sides.

  • Asra Nomani says:

    Dear Mr. Joscelyn,
    Thank you for your very smart analysis putting the findings of our report, THE TRUTH LEFT BEHIND, into the larger context of America’s counterterrorism effort.
    By way of introduction, my name is Asra Nomani, and I am a co-author of the investigation, published by the Center for Public Integrity and conducted by 32 incredibly bright students at Georgetown University and my faculty colleague, Barbara Feinman Todd. Doing this work was very personally motivated, as Danny was a friend and WSJ colleague who left my house when he was kidnapped.
    You can read the full report at this link:
    In “Key Findings,” your readers can find the PDF of the report, as well as a social network analysis chart created using Palantir technology, showing the “family tree” of the cells and 27 suspects with a role in Danny’s kidnapping and murder.
    It’s an honor to have you write about the report’s contribution to figuring out the challenges the U.S. faces fighting militancy, extremism and al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. You get it.
    What we found was that while four men were convicted in Danny’s murder, 27 men were actually involved, of which 14 are free because of Pakistan’s revolving door of justice, and those free men include Mati-ur Rehman, whom you appropriately highlight.
    I too paused at the description that the Pakistani police had of Mati-ur Rehman being affiliated with Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI), rather than Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. I think that these various affiliations reflect the way the militants move between groups.
    And your point regarding the question of Saif el-Adel’s relationship with KSM in the organizational hierarchy is a good one. It’s not clear if Saif el-Adel was calling KSM to order him or to advise him. This is something that, indeed, it would be good to establish.
    Most of all thank you for bringing important attention to our work, and if we can assist you or your readers please do let me know. I can be reached at asra(a) If your readers have any questions about the report, I am happy to answer them here.
    Best, Asra

  • I think there is something here which is NOT fully understood. Though Omar Saeed Sheikh managed the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, the honour to “halal” his throat was given to KSM, may be as a reward for his role in 9/11.Slitting Jews throats in Halal way is something of a religious honour.
    Omar Saeed Sheikh is the one who was originally arrested in India when he was scouting for white foreigner tourists to be kidnapped.His importance was never understood by Indian Intelligence. It will be interesting to see who influenced in India about his jail custody. Omar was also sure that he will never be hanged in Pakistan.
    The more one knows about Daniel Pearl, one sees how he has done something which no other journalist of USA could do even today. Infact in his death he is opening the eyes of US Intelligence establishment about Pakistani Army and the Hierarchy amongst terrorists.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram