Daniel Pearl Beheading
June 9, 2019 at 6:48 am
Daniel Pearl was an American journalist working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal. He was kidnapped in Pakistan on January 23, 2002 when he travelled there to investigate the possible link between Richard Reid (more commonly referred to as “The Shoe Bomber”) and al-Qaeda. He was on his way to an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani to investigate his supposed connection to Reid when he was kidnapped by a militant group.
The group did this in protest of Pakistani detainees held under terror-related crimes. They demanded their release with the threat of killing Mr. Pearl. Just over a week later, they stayed true to their word.
On February 21, 2002, a videotape was released showing the events briefly leading up to his subsequent beheading.
The video starts out with Daniel Pearl speaking to the camera about himself, his family and his religion as photographs and snippets of video are transposed around him of dead Muslims, world leaders and Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli soldiers.
He continues speaking for nearly two minutes, saying things that he likely didn’t believe, in the hopes it would save his life. Shortly thereafter, at the 1-minute, 52-second mark of the video, we see an already unconscious Pearl with a slit throat and a man methodically going about the process to slice his head the rest of the way off with a knife.
This part is very brief, followed by a couple of still shots of his bleeding body, before it goes back to moving video footage of his now-severed head being held by the hair. Other images of slain Muslims and the like continue to share portions of the screen.
The other images fade away as the lone image of his severed head being held is then shown with the caption, “NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR THE RESTORATION OF PAKISTAN SOVEREIGNTY (NMRPS),” in both Arabic and English, followed by the group’s demands. These are then followed by the caption of, “We asure [sic] Americans that they shall never be safe on the Muslim Land of Pakistan. And if our demands are not met these scenes shall be repeated again and again…” before fading to black. The video lasts just over three and a half minutes.
Daniel Pearl’s decomposing body was found on May 16th of the same year. He had been buried after being decapitated, and his body cut into 10 pieces. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed that he beheaded Daniel Pearl, himself.
(Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured on March 1, 2003 in Pakistan. He has since claimed responsibility for a long list of attacks and murders, including those of September 11, 2001. He now sits in prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and has been charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking aircraft, and terrorism.
The United States is seeking the death penalty.)