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Profile: Daniel Pearl

 
  

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Daniel Pearl actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Early 1998: CIA Ignores Ex-Agent's Warning 9/11 Mastermind Is "Going to Hijack Some Planes," Visiting Germany      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Robert Baer.
in December 1997, CIA agent Robert Baer, newly retired from the CIA and working as a terrorism consultant, meets a former police chief from the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. He learns that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was being sheltered by then Qatari Interior Minister Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani in 1996 (see January-May 1996). However, the ex-police chief knows other details, based on what Qatari police and intelligence learned when Mohammed was in the country. Mohammed was leading an al-Qaeda cell in Qatar together with Shawqui Islambuli, the brother of the Egyptian who had killed Anwar el-Sadat. They also were linked to bomber Ramzi Yousef. But what worries the former police chief is that Mohammed and Islambuli are experts in hijacking commercial planes. He tells Baer that Mohammed “is going to hijack some planes.” Further, he is told that Mohammed has moved to the Czech Republic, and has also travelled to Germany to meet bin Laden associates there. In early 1998 Baer sends this information to a friend in the CIA Counterterrorist Center, who forwards the information to his superiors. Baer doesn't hear back. He says, “There was no interest.” [UPI, 9/30/02; Vanity Fair, 2/02; Baer, 2002, pp 270-71] Baer also tries to interest reporter Daniel Pearl in a story about Mohammed before 9/11, but Pearl is still working on it when he is kidnapped and later murdered in early 2002. [UPI, 9/30/02] Baer's source later disappears, presumably kidnapped in Qatar. It has been speculated that the CIA turned on the source to protect its relationship with the Qatari government. [Gertz, 2002, pp 55-58] It appears bin Laden visits al-Thani in Qatar between the years 1996 and 2000. [ABC News, 2/7/03] Al-Thani continues to support al-Qaeda, providing Qatari passports and more than $1 million in funds to al-Qaeda. Even after 9/11, Mohammed is provided shelter in Qatar for two weeks in late 2001. [New York Times, 2/6/03] Yet the US still has not frozen al-Thani's assets or taken other action.
People and organizations involved: Ramzi Yousef, Counterterrorist Center, Qatar, Anwar el-Sadat, Shawqui Islambuli, Daniel Pearl, Osama bin Laden, Persian Gulf, al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Robert Baer
          

December 24, 2001-January 23, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Investigates Sensitive Topics in Pakistan      Complete 911 Timeline

       Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl writes stories about the ISI that will lead to his kidnapping and murder. On December 24, 2001, he reports about ties between the ISI and a Pakistani organization that was working on giving bin Laden nuclear secrets before 9/11. A few days later, he reports that the ISI-supported militant organization Jaish-e-Mohammed still has its office running and bank accounts working, even though President Musharraf claims to have banned the group. “If [Pearl] hadn't been on the ISI's radarscope before, he was now.” [Guardian, 7/16/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] He begins investigating links between shoe bomber Richard Reid and Pakistani militants, and comes across connections to the ISI and a mysterious religious group called Al-Fuqra. [Washington Post, 2/23/02] He also may be looking into the US training and backing of the ISI. [Gulf News, 3/25/02] He is writing another story on Dawood Ibrahim, a powerful Islamic militant and gangster protected by the ISI, and other Pakistani organized crime figures. [Newsweek, 2/4/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] Former CIA agent Robert Baer later claims to be working with Pearl on an investigation of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. [UPI, 9/30/02] It is later suggested that Mohammed masterminds both Reid's shoe bomb attempt and the Pearl kidnapping, and has connections to Pakistani gangsters and the ISI, so some of these explanations could fit together. [UPI, 9/30/02; Asia Times, 10/30/02; CNN, 1/30/03] Kidnapper Saeed will later say of Pearl, “because of his hyperactivity he caught our interest.” [The News, 2/15/02] Pearl is kidnapped on January 23, 2002, and his murder is confirmed on February 22, 2002. [CNN, 2/22/02]
People and organizations involved: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Robert Baer, Dawood Ibrahim, Al-Fuqra, Pervez Musharraf, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Osama bin Laden, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Daniel Pearl
          

January 6, 2002: Shoe Bomber Is Believed to Be Involved with Pakistani Jihadists      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Boston Globe reports that shoe bomber Richard Reid may have had ties with an obscure Pakistani group called Al-Fuqra. Reid apparently visited the Lahore, Pakistan, home of Ali Gilani, the leader of Al-Fuqra. [Boston Globe, 1/6/02] Reporter Daniel Pearl reads the article and decides to investigate. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] Pearl believes he is on his way to interview Gilani when he is kidnapped. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] A 1995 State Department report said Al-Fuqra's main goal is “purifying Islam through violence.” [Vanity Fair, 8/02] Intelligence experts now say Al-Fuqra is a splinter group of Jaish-e-Mohammed, with ties to al-Qaeda. [UPI, 1/29/02] Al-Fuqra claims close ties with the Muslims of the Americas, a US tax-exempt group claiming about 3,000 members living in rural compounds in 19 states, the Caribbean, and Europe. Members of Al-Fuqra are suspected of at least 13 fire bombings and 17 murders, as well as theft and credit-card fraud. Gilani, who had links to people involved in the 1993 WTC bombing, fled the US after the bombing. He admitted he works with the ISI, and now lives freely in Pakistan. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02; The News, 2/15/02; Boston Globe, 1/6/02] Saeed Sheikh “has long had close contacts” with the group, and praises Gilani for his “unexplained services to Pakistan and Islam.” [The News, 2/18/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Ali Gilani, Richard C. Reid, Al-Fuqra, Daniel Pearl, al-Qaeda, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Saeed Sheikh
          

January 22-25, 2002: India Tells FBI Director About Saeed Sheikh Connection to 9/11      Complete 911 Timeline

       FBI Director Mueller visits India, and is told by Indian investigators that Saeed Sheikh sent ransom money to hijacker Mohamed Atta in the US. In the next few days, Saeed is publicly blamed for his role with gangster Aftab Ansari in financing Atta and organizing the Calcutta attack (see January 22, 2002). [Press Trust of India, 1/22/02; Daily Telegraph, 1/27/02; Los Angeles Times, 1/23/02; Independent, 2/24/02; Agence France-Presse, 1/27/02] Meanwhile, on January 23, Saeed helps kidnap reporter Daniel Pearl and is later arrested. Also on January 23, Ansari is placed under surveillance after flying to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On January 24, Mueller and US Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin discuss Saeed at a previously scheduled meeting with Pakistani President Musharraf. Apparently Saeed's role in Pearl's kidnapping is not yet known. [Associated Press, 2/24/02] On Mueller's way back to the US he flies to Dubai to pressure the government there to arrest Ansari and deport him to India. Ansari is arrested on February 5 and deported four days later. [Associated Press, 2/10/02; Frontline, 2/16/02; India Today, 2/25/02]
People and organizations involved: Robert S. Mueller III, Saeed Sheikh, Mohamed Atta, Aftab Ansari, Pervez Musharraf, Daniel Pearl, Wendy Chamberlin, India
          

January 23, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Kidnapped While Investigating the ISI      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Daniel Pearl.
Wall Street Journal report Daniel Pearl is kidnapped while investigating the ISI's connection to Islamic militant groups. [BBC, 7/5/02; Guardian, 1/25/02] Saeed Sheikh is later convicted as the mastermind of the kidnap, and though it appears he lured Pearl into being kidnapped beginning January 11, the actual kidnapping is perpetrated by others who remain at large. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Wall Street Journal, 1/23/03] The Guardian later suggests that Pearl must have been under ISI surveillance at the time of his kidnapping. “Any western journalist visiting Pakistan is routinely watched and followed. The notion that Daniel Pearl, setting up contacts with extremist groups, was not being carefully monitored by the Secret Services is unbelievable—and nobody in Pakistan believes it.” [Guardian, 4/5/02] Both al-Qaeda and the ISI appear to be behind the kidnapping. The overall mastermind behind the kidnapping seems to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, also mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. [CNN, 1/30/03; Time, 1/26/03]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 31, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Murdered by Pakistani Kidnappers      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Reporter Daniel Pearl moments before he is killed.
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered. He is reported dead on February 21; his mutilated body is found months later. Police investigators say “there were at least eight to ten people present on the [murder] scene” and at least 15 who participated in his kidnapping and murder. “Despite issuing a series of political demands shortly after Pearl's abduction four weeks ago, it now seems clear that the kidnappers planned to kill Pearl all along.” [Washington Post, 2/23/02] Some captured participants later claim 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the one who cuts Pearl's throat. [MSNBC, 9/17/02; Time, 1/26/03]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Pearl, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

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