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US Seeks Extradition of Pearl Suspect - 2002-02-25

Bush administration officials say they want to see those responsible for the death of American journalist Daniel Pearl brought to the United States.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the United States is very satisfied with the action taken by Pakistan on the Pearl case. But he also says the Bush administration would like to bring the accused to America.

He spoke shortly after a Pakistani court ordered the alleged ringleader in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl to be held for another 14 days, to give prosecutors more time to gather evidence. The U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin, told CBS television that the United States has been trying to get the Pakistanis to turn over Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh for some time in connection with an earlier kidnapping.

"We have been pursuing that rather vigorously. Sheikh Omar is a nasty character. He has been involved as a suspect in kidnappings and crimes against American citizens for many years. He is someone we have had our eye on for many years," Ambassador Chamberlin said.

Daniel Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Karachi about a month ago. His brutal death was confirmed last week.