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Planner of 9/11 Attacks Also Killed Journalist Daniel Pearl, reports Newspaper - 2003-10-21


The Wall Street Journal newspaper reports that U.S. officials believe that the man who planned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks also murdered reporter Daniel Pearl last year.

U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, have told both the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press that they believe Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the one who killed Journal reporter Daniel Pearl after his abduction in January 2002.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured this past March and remains in U.S. custody in an undisclosed location outside the United States. U.S. officials consider him one of Osama bin Laden's closest aides and the man who planned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and outside Washington.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has also been accused of plotting to blow up several U.S. airliners in the mid-1990s and of helping to organize the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was abducted in Karachi, Pakistan, on January 23, 2002. A month later, authorities arrested an Islamic militant who said Mr. Pearl had been murdered.

Investigators later obtained videotapes apparently showing Mr. Pearl having his throat cut. It was not clear from the tape who carried out the murder, but U.S. officials now believe it was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, even though they will not detail the evidence that leads them to that conclusion.

Mr. Mohammed is one of nine people in custody in connection with the Pearl case.

A spokeswoman for The Wall Street Journal said the newspaper continues to hope that all those responsible for Mr. Pearl's kidnap and murder are brought to justice.

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