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Daniel Pearl

Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 - January 29/30, 2002) was an American journalist who was kidnapped and murdered in Karachi, Pakistan early in the American War on Terrorism while investigating the case of shoe bomber Richard Reid, who had been arrested a month earlier for trying to ignite his shoes onboard a passenger jet.

Pearl was born in Princeton, New Jersey and grew up in southern California. He graduated with a degree in Communications from Stanford University in 1985. After working for a variety of newspapers, he joined The Wall Street Journal in 1990, working for them until his death. He became a foreign correspondent in 1996 and was serving as the newspaper's South Asia bureau chief, working out of Bombay, India at the time of his kidnapping. He was best known for writing "A-heads"--colorful and unusual feature stories such as such as an October 1994 story of a Stradivarius violin allegedly found on a highway on-ramp and a June 2000 story about Iranian pop music--run down the middle of The Wall Street Journals front page.

On January 23, 2002, Pearl was kidnapped on his way to an interview with a supposed terrorist leader by a militant group calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. The group claimed Pearl was a spy and gave the United States two days to meet its demands, sent via e-mail from the address kidnapperguy@hotmail.com, which ranged from freeing all Pakistani terror detainees to releasing a halted U.S. shipment of F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistani government.

The message read: "We give u 1 more day if America will not meet our demands we will kill Daniel. Then this cycle will continue and no American journalist could enter Pakistan." Photos of Pearl handcuffed with a gun at his head and holding up a newspaper were attached.

There was no response to pleas from Pearl's editor and his wife, Marianne, who was pregnant with their first child.

He was killed six days later. On February 21, a videotape portraying his murder was released, and his body was found in a shallow grave in the outskirts of Karachi on May 16.

A collection of his writings was published posthumously later in 2002.

On March 21, 2002 Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh[?] along with three other suspects were charged in Pakistan with murder for their part in the kidnapping and killing of Daniel Pearl and were later convicted on July 15, 2002. During the trial, Sheikh, the mastermind of the kidnapping, told investigators he kidnapped Pearl in order to "strike a blow at the United States and embarrass the Pakistani government." Another one of the suspects said Pearl had been targeted "because he was a Jew working against Islam."

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