We all know Pearl was murdered by 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, even though he’s never officially been charged with the crime. The Washington Post writes today about a new report that reveals new details about Pearl’s murder. The report also concludes that KSM indeed was indeed his killer. Don’t read if you’ve got a weak stomach:
A recently completed investigation of the killing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan nine years ago makes public new evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative executed the Wall Street Journal reporter.
Khalid Sheik Mohammed — the self-described mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, who is being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba — said at a military hearing in 2007 that he killed Pearl. But there have been lingering doubts about his involvement, and the United States has not charged him with the crime.
According to the new report, which was prepared by faculty members and students at Georgetown University, U.S. officials have concluded that vascular technology, or vein matching, shows that the hand of the unseen man who killed Pearl on video is that of Mohammed. The report also says Mohammed told the FBI that a senior al-Qaeda operative advised him to take control of Pearl from his original kidnappers.
The 31,000-word report, published in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity at www.publicintegrity.org, is among the most complete and graphic accounts of Pearl’s death. The 3 1/2-year investigation, called the Pearl Project, was led by Asra Q. Nomani, a former colleague of Pearl’s at the Journal, and Barbara Feinman Todd, director of the journalism program at Georgetown.
The report said Mohammed and two others arrived at the compound on the outskirts of Karachi, where Pearl was being held. According to the report, some U.S. and Pakistani officials think the accomplices were Mohammed’s nephews, including Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, who is also being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Mohammed slashed Pearl’s throat, killing him, but one of his accomplices failed to operate the video camera, which they had brought to capture the murder for propaganda purposes. Mohammed restaged the killing, this time decapitating Pearl, according to the report. He then dismembered Pearl’s body, and it was buried on the compound. Guards washed the bloody floor and then prayed, foreheads to the ground, on the same surface where their prisoner had just been killed, the report said.
The report said that 27 men, including guards and drivers, played a part in the kidnapping and murder, and that 14 remain free in Pakistan. Mohammed has not been charged with Pearl’s murder, in part because he first confessed while in CIA custody, where he was waterboarded 183 times. Prosecutors fear that his treatment at the hands of the agency could compromise any case, the report said.
You can read the full Pearl Project report here.