President Bush says U.S. officials are actively trying to find and rescue an American reporter kidnapped in Pakistan. Gunmen have threatend to kill the reporter Friday unless the United States releases Pakistani detainees captured during the war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
President Bush met with his FBI director Friday morning to discuss efforts to find kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who disappeared last week in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
Mr. Pearl's captives have sent e-mail messages and photographs to Western media threatening to kill him. As Friday's deadline passed without word on Mr. Pearl's fate, President Bush said U.S. officials are doing everything they can to find him.
"We are working with the Pakistan government to chase down any leads possible. For example, we are trying to follow the trail of the e-mails that have been sent with the sole purpose of saving this man, of finding him and rescuing him. We have been in touch with The Wall Street Journal and obviously we are deeply concerned," Mr. Bush said.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has said there will be no negotiating with Mr. Pearl's kidnappers. They have warned all American journalists to leave Pakistan by Saturday, saying there are many spies pretending to be reporters.
The kidnappers first accused Mr. Pearl of working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, then said he was a spy for Israel.
The journalist disappeared a week ago after telling his wife he was going to interview a radical Islamic leader in Karachi who has since been arrested and is being questioned about the kidnapping. Pakistan's foreign minister told reporters in Germany that the Islamic leader's mobile phone records show he was in contact with officials in India.
India rejects Pakistan's allegation that it is behind the abduction, challenging Pakistani authorities to provide the names of Indian officials they say are involved.