LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Pakistani authorities have arrested a suspect in the 2002 abduction and beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
British-born Qari Abdul Hayee, who also goes by the name Asadullah and is a reputed leader of the anti-Shiite terrorist group, Laskar-e-Jhangvi, was arrested in the capital city of Karachi on Sunday.
Hayee is not believed to have personally killed Pearl, but to have been among a group of 25 or more terrorists behind his kidnapping, according to published reports.
Pearl, who grew up in Encino and attended Birmingham High School, was in Karachi, researching a story about a link between attempted shoe-bomber Richard Reid and al-Qaida when he was kidnapped and killed in January 2002 at the age of 38.
Pearl’s parents, Ruth and Judea, who still live in Los Angeles, released a statement through the New York City-based Daniel Pearl Foundation, in reaction to news of the arrest.
“We 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.”
In July 2002, Pakistani authorities arrested Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, along with three other suspects involved in Pearl’s murder. Sheikh was sentenced to death.
U.S. prisoner and al-Qaida suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is currently being held in a military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, claimed to have personally beheaded Pearl during a closed 2007 hearing. However, despite his claim, he has not yet been charged with Pearl’s murder.
The al-Qaida operative, Saif al-Adel, has also been linked to the killing.
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