October 10, 1963
Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||February 1, 2002
|Cause of death||Murder by beheading|
|Body discovered||May 16, 2002|
|Resting place||Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Residence||Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Citizenship||United States, Israel|
|Education||B.A. in Communication|
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
|Employer||The Wall Street Journal|
|Known for||Wall Street journalism|
|Home town||Encino, Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Title||South Asia Bureau Chief|
|Spouse(s)||Mariane Pearl (1999–2002; his death)|
|Children||Adam Daniel Pearl, born May 28, 2002|
|Parents||Judea Pearl (father) and Ruth Pearl (mother)|
|Relatives||Michelle and Tamara (sisters)|
Pearl was kidnapped while working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, based in Mumbai, India. He had gone to Pakistan as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the "shoe bomber") and Al-Qaeda. He was subsequently beheaded by his captors.
In March 2007, at a closed military hearing in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted that he had personally beheaded Pearl. Al-Qaeda member Saif al-Adel has also been connected with the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl.
Daniel Pearl was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and grew up in the upscale Encino district of Los Angeles, California, where he attended Portola Middle School and Birmingham High School. His father, Judea Pearl, is currently a professor of Computer Science and Statistics, director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory at UCLA, and a Turing Award recipient. His mother Ruth is of Iraqi Jewish descent. The history of the family and its connections to Israel are described by Judea Pearl in the LA Times article, "Roots in the Holy Land".
Danny, as he was known throughout his life, attended Stanford University from 1981 to 1985, where he stood out as a Communications major with Phi Beta Kappa honors, a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity, a co-founder of a student newspaper called the Stanford Commentator, as well as a reporter for the campus radio station, KZSU. Pearl graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in Communications, after which he spent a summer as a Pulliam Fellow intern at The Indianapolis Star. Following a trip to the then-Soviet Union, China and Europe, he joined the North Adams Transcript and The Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts, then moved on to the San Francisco Business Times.
Pearl began at the Wall Street Journal's Atlanta bureau in 1990, moving to the Washington, D.C., bureau in 1993 to cover telecommunications, and then to the London bureau in 1996. He wrote articles such as the October 1994 story of a Stradivarius violin allegedly found on a highway on-ramp, and a June 2000 story about Iranian pop music. His most notable investigations covered the ethnic wars in the Balkans, where he discovered that charges of one alleged genocide committed in Kosovo were unsubstantiated, and the American missile attack on a supposed military facility in Khartoum, which he proved to be a pharmaceutical factory.
On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped near the Metropole Hotel at 7:00 pm by a militant group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty.
The group claimed Pearl was a spy and—using a Hotmail e-mail address—sent the United States a range of demands, including the freeing of all Pakistani terror detainees, and the release of a halted U.S. shipment of F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistani government.
The message read:
"We give you one 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, nor from his wife Mariane.
Nine days later, Pearl was beheaded. On May 16 his severed head and decomposed body were found cut into ten pieces, and buried—along with the jacket of a tracksuit Pearl was wearing when photographed by his kidnappers—in a shallow grave at Gadap, about 30 miles north of Karachi. When the police found Pearl's remains, Abdul Sattar Edhi, one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan, arrived promptly on the scene, personally collected all ten body parts, and took them to the morgue. Pearl's body was returned to the U.S., and was interred in the Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. No autopsy was performed as the subsequent video made obvious the sequence of events leading to Pearl's death.
Video of his murder
On February 21, 2002, a videotape was released titled The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl. The video shows Pearl's mutilated body, and lasts 3 minutes and 36 seconds.
During the video, Daniel Pearl famously remarks:
My name is Daniel Pearl. I'm a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, uh, on my father's side the family is Zionist. My father's Jewish, my mother's Jewish, I'm Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We've made numerous family visits to Israel.
In addition, Pearl was required to condemn American foreign policy. However, his parents have noted that this was propaganda, and that Pearl was in fact "a proud American, and he abhorred extremist ideologies." The family also listed some signals from Pearl in the video which shows he disagreed with what he was forced to say.
Following these statements, Daniel Pearl's throat is slit, and his head is severed.
The ending of the video concludes with the captors demanding the release of all Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, and warns that if their demands are not met, they would repeat the scene "again and again."
Three suspects were caught after the IP address of those who sent the ransom e-mail was traced by the Karachi police. The arrests were carried out after investigation by Pakistani detective Mir Zubair Mahmood, assisted by an FBI computer expert. The mastermind of the kidnapping, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, surrendered to a former ISI officer, Brig. Ijaz Shah, who concealed Sheikh's whereabouts from the Karachi police for a week. Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh had been in an Indian prison in connection with 1994 Kidnappings of Western tourists in India, and had been freed by the Indian government in exchange for passengers aboard hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 in December 1999.
On March 21, 2002, in Pakistan, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and three other suspects were charged with murder for their part in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl. They were convicted on July 15, 2002, and Sheikh was sentenced to death. Sheikh has appealed the sentence, but hearings in his case were postponed over 30 times, and no definitive date had been set.
On March 10, 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an alleged Al Qaeda operative reported to be third in command under Osama bin Laden, claimed responsibility, before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, for the murder of Daniel Pearl. He claimed to have beheaded him. In a confession read during his Tribunal hearing, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. " This confession repeated word for word the phrasing leaked in 2002 from his interrogation in a clandestine CIA interrogation center.
On March 19, 2007, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh's lawyers cited Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession in defense of their client. They said they had always acknowledged that their client played a role in Pearl's murder, but they had always argued that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the actual murderer. They plan for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's confession to play a central role in their appeal of their client's death sentence.
According to an investigative report published in January 2011 by Georgetown University, the Federal Bureau of Investigation used vein matching to determine that the perpetrator in the video of the killing of Pearl was most likely Mohammed, notably through a "bulging vein" running across his hand. Federal officials had been concerned that the confession obtained though waterboarding would not hold up in court and used this forensic technique to bolster their case.
It was announced on March 19, 2013, that a suspect was captured in connection with the murder. Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations Directorate confirmed the arrest by a paramilitary unit known as the Rangers and was in police custody.
A collection of Pearl's writings (At Home in the World) was published posthumously in 2002, demonstrating his "extraordinary skill as a writer" and his "eye for quirky stories—many of which appeared in The Wall Street Journal's "middle column".
The Daniel Pearl Foundation was formed by Pearl's family and friends to continue Pearl's mission, and to address what they consider the root causes of his death, in the spirit, style, and principles that shaped Pearl's work and character. Daniel Pearl World Music Days have been held worldwide since 2002, and have promoted over 1,500 concerts in over 60 countries.
Pearl's widow, Mariane Pearl, wrote the memoir A Mighty Heart, which tells the full story of Pearl and more about his life. The book was adapted into a film starring Dan Futterman as Daniel Pearl, Angelina Jolie as Mariane Pearl, Irfan Khan, Archie Panjabi, and Will Patton.
On September 1, 2003, a book titled Who Killed Daniel Pearl? was published, written by Bernard-Henri Lévy. The book, which the author characterized as an "investigative novel", stirred controversy for some of its speculative conclusions about the killing, for some of its characterizations of Pakistan, and for the author's decision to engage in an exercise of fictionalizing Pearl's thoughts in the final moments of his life. Lévy was criticized for the book. This book is being adapted into a film directed by Tod Williams and starring Josh Lucas, focusing on the last few days of Daniel Pearl's life.
HBO Films produced a 79-minute documentary titled The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl. It premiered on HBO on October 10, 2006. The documentary chronicles Pearl's life and death, and features extensive interviews with his immediate family. It is narrated by Christiane Amanpour, and was nominated for two Emmy Awards.
Pearl's parents edited and published a collection of responses sent to them from around the globe, entitled I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004). At one point on the video, Pearl said: "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish," after which Pearl added one obscure detail, that a street in Israel's Bnei Brak is named after his great grandfather, who was one of the founders of the town. The family has written that it understands this last detail authenticates Daniel's own voice and demonstrates his willingness to claim his identity. Judea Pearl has written that at first this statement surprised him, but he later understood it to be a reference to the town-building tradition of his family contrasted with the destructive aims of his captors. Judea Pearl then enlarged the idea by inviting responses from artists, government leaders, authors, journalists, scientists, scholars, rabbis, and others. All wrote personal responses to what they thought upon hearing that these were Pearl's last words. Some responses are one sentence, others several pages.
The book is organized by five themes: Identity; Heritage; Covenant, Chosenness, and Faith; Humanity and Ethnicity; Tikkun Olam (Repairing the World) and Justice. Contributors include Theodore Bikel, Alan Dershowitz, Kirk Douglas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Larry King, Amos Oz, Shimon Peres, Daniel Schorr, Elie Wiesel, Peter Yarrow, and A.B. Yehoshua.
American minimalist composer Steve Reich wrote his 2006 work Daniel Variations, jointly commissioned by the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the Barbican Centre, which interweaves Pearl's own words with verses from the Book of Daniel.
On April 16, 2007, Pearl was added to the Holocaust Memorial on Miami Beach as the first non-Holocaust victim. His father gave his consent for the induction in order to remind generations to come that "The forces of barbarity and evil are still active in our world. The Holocaust didn't finish in 1945." Journalist Bradley Burston criticized the addition of a post-Holocaust victim to the memorial, saying "it diminishes the uniqueness of the Holocaust".
On December 10, 2007, President George W. Bush and Laura Bush invited Ruth and Judea Pearl, parents of Daniel Pearl to the White House Chanukah reception, to light the menorah that once belonged to Daniel's great grandparents, Chaim and Rosa Pearl, who brought it with them when they moved from Poland to Israel in 1924 to establish the town of Bnai-Brak.
Institutions and awards in Pearl's name
Shortly after Pearl's death, his parents founded the Daniel Pearl Foundation. The foundation's mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and dialogue. The honorary board of the Daniel Pearl Foundation includes Christiane Amanpour, former President Bill Clinton, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Danny Gill, John L. Hennessy, Ted Koppel, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Sari Nusseibeh, Mariane Pearl, Itzhak Perlman, Harold Schulweiss, Craig Sherman, Paul Steiger, and Elie Wiesel.
The Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture at UCLA was established by the foundation in 2002. Christopher Hitchens delivered a lecture on March 3, 2010. Other lecturers have included Anderson Cooper; David Brooks; Ted Koppel; Larry King; Jeff Greenfield; Daniel Schorr and Thomas Friedman. Soka University of America's student news magazine, titled the Pearl, is named in honor of Daniel Pearl.
On May 19, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which protects US journalists around the world. The act is also designed to use tools from the Secretary of State to ensure that freedom of press is upheld in other countries.
- Institutions named for Pearl:
- The Sammy Ofer School of Communications at IDC Herzliya introduced the Daniel Pearl International Journalism Institute (DPIJI), a new partnership between IDC Herzliya and the Daniel Pearl Foundation.
The multimedia newsroom at IDC’s School of Communications will be named in honor of Daniel Pearl. The high-tech newsroom will provide journalists at the Institute and the visiting press community with the resources and equipment they need to write and produce top-quality journalistic work for both local and foreign audiences.
- In 2005, The Wall Street Journal, in conjunction with the École de Journalisme de Sciences Po, gave the first Daniel Pearl Prize to Louis-Étienne Vigneault-Dubois from Canada, at a ceremony held on June 10 in Paris.
- In western Massachusetts, with help from the newspapers there for which Pearl worked early in his career (the North Adams Transcript and the Berkshire Eagle), friends of Pearl established the Daniel Pearl Berkshire Scholarship, awarded annually beginning in 2003.
- Since 2003, Stanford's Department of Communication has awarded a paid summer internship with The Wall Street Journal, known as the "Daniel Pearl Journalism Internship."
- In 2008 the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists' bi-annual ICIJ awards were renamed the Daniel Pearl Awards for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.
- Schools named for Pearl:
- In May 2007, the Communications Technology Magnet School at Birmingham High School was renamed the Daniel Pearl Journalism and Communications Magnet.
- In July 2009, Daniel Pearl Magnet High School (DPMHS) became a stand-alone high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
- In East Brunswick Township, Temple B'nai Shalom renamed their Hebrew School 'The Daniel Pearl Education Center' after Pearl. Additionally, the Synagogue has created a "Daniel Pearl Education Scholarship" in his honor.
- Islamic Terrorism
- Amjad Hussain Farooqi
- 2006 Fox journalists kidnapping
- Piotr Stańczak
- Eugene Armstrong
- Nick Berg
- Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr.
- Kim Sun-il
- Jack Hensley
- Kenneth Bigley
- Shosei Koda
- Margaret Hassan
- Seif Adnan Kanaan
- Yevgeny Rodionov
- Online NewsHour Update: Pakistan Convicts Four Men in Pearl Murder - July 15, 2002
- Mount, Mike (15 March 2007). "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed: I beheaded American reporter". CCN.com (Cable News Network). Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Anthony, Augustine (May 23, 2011-05-23). "Study ties new al Qaeda chief to murder of journalist Pearl". Reuters. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
- Fonda, Daren (27 September 2003). "On the Trail of Daniel Pearl". Time.com (Time, Inc.). Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Escobar, Pepe (28 June 2003). "Book Review: Who Killed Daniel Pearl?". Asia Times Online. Asia Times Online Co, Ltd. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- "Profile: Omar Saeed Sheikh". BBC News. July 16, 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2010.
- "Al-Qaida No. 3 says he planned 9/11, other plots". MSNBC. Associated Press. 2007-03-15. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
- Katherine Shrader (2007-03-15). "9/11 Mastermind Admits Killing Reporter". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- At home in the world: collected writings from the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl, Editor Helene Cooper, Simon and Schuster, 2002, ISBN 0-7432-4317-X, accessed January 31, 2010
- "Judea Pearl". ACM.
- UCLA Cognitive Systems Laboratory (Experimental) Index: Judea Pearl - Home Access date: February 12, 2010.
- Pearl, Judea, Roots in the Holy Land, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2008.
- Pearl, Daniel. Stradivarius Violin, Lost Years Ago, Resurfaces but New Owner Plays Coy. The Wall Street Journal Archive: October 17, 1994.
- In the line of fire: a memoir, Pervez Musharraf, Simon and Schuster, 2006, ISBN 0-7432-8344-9, accessed January 20, 2010
- Pellegrini, Frank (2002-02-21). "Daniel Pearl: 1963–2002". Time Magazine.
- McCarthy, Rory, "Body parts believed to be of murdered US reporter; Clues found in nearby hut are linked to Daniel Pearl," The Guardian, May 18, 2002, accessed January 30, 2010
- Blood evidence: how DNA is revolutionizing the way we solve crimes, enry C. Lee, Frank Tirnady, Basic Books, 2003, ISBN 0-7382-0602-4, January 30, 2010
- The Daily Clarity, Abdul Sattar Edhi revisited, April 19, 2009
- Pearl, Judea; Pearl, Ruth (May 14, 2008). "Right of Reply: Daniel Pearl's last words". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
- Rosenbaum, Ron (2004). Those Who Forget the Past: The Question of Anti-Semitism. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. xxiv. ISBN 0-8129-7203-1.
- Sylvan Barnet, Hugo Bedau (2012). Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument. Macmillan. p. 144. ISBN 0-312-60160-3.
- Haaretz article February 2002
- McCarthy, Rory. Pakistan holds three as net closes on US reporter's kidnappers. Guardian February 6, 2002.
- "President dubs alleged Pearl killer MI6 spy.". Gulf Times. 2006-09-26. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- "Verbatim Transcript of Combatant Status Review Tribunal Hearing for ISN 10024 (ie. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed)". US Department of Defense. 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-03-10.
- Unkovic, Alexis. Militant convicted of Pearl killing to rely on KSM Guantanamo confession on appeal. The Jurist. March 3, 2007. Access date: March 20, 2007
- "Daniel Pearl.". The Herald (Glasgow) (Scottish Media Newspapers Limited). 2002-02-25. p. 14.
- "Pearl murder convict to appeal after confession.". Reuters. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- Ackerman, Spencer (January 20, 2011). "Qaeda Killer's Veins Implicate Him In Journo's Murder". Wired. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
- Blackburn, Bradley (January 20, 2011). "Report Says Justice Not Served in Murder of Daniel Pearl, Wall Street Journal Reporter". ABC News. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
- "Pakistan captures suspect in death of journalist Daniel Pearl, official says". NBC News. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
- Pearl, Daniel. At Home in the World: Collected Writings from the Wall Street Journal. New York: Free Press, June 2002. ISBN 0-7432-4317-X.
- "Daniel Pearl Foundation". Daniel Pearl Foundation. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Pearl, Mariane, and Sarah Crichton. A Mighty Heart. New York: Scribner, 2003. ISBN 0-7432-4442-7. Access date: 2007-03-20.
- with appearances by Alyy Khan and Zafar Karachiwala Moerk, Christian. (2005-07-31). "The Race To Put Pearl On Screen". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Lévy, Bernard-Henri (2003). Who Killed Daniel Pearl?. Melville House Publishing. ISBN 0-9718659-4-9.
- Escobar, Pepe. "Who Killed Daniel Pearl?". Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Dalrymple, William (2003-12-04). "Murder in Karachi". New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Lévy, Bernard-Henri and William Dalrymple (2004-02-12). "Murder in Karachi: An Exchange". New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Lévy, Bernard-Henri (2003-10-23). "Who Killed Daniel Pearl?". BBC. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- "Zwick to Make Film About Daniel Pearl". Rotten Tomatoes. 2005-02-22. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Pearl, Ruth & Judea, eds. I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl. Jewish Lights Pub., January 2004. ISBN 1-58023-183-7.
- The Guardian (2006-09-06). "Steve Reich on the most political work of his career.". Retrieved 2011.
- Associated Press (2007-04-16). "Slain Journalist Daniel Pearl Honored With Holocaust Victims.". Editor & Publisher. Retrieved 2007.
- Burston, Bradley. Holocaust denial begins at home. Haaretz April 17, 2007.
- "World Press Freedom Heroes: Symbols of courage in global journalism". International Press Institute. 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
- "Ed Koch Dead: Mayor Who Became A Symbol Of NYC Dies At 88 (PHOTOS)". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
- Cynthia Lee,"Christopher Hitchens decries anti-Semitism in lecture at UCLA", UCLA newsroom, March 4, 2010
- ,"The Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture Series", UCLA
- WSJ and Sciences Po Journalism School Award 1st Daniel Pearl Prize to Louis-Étienne Vigneault-Dubois - June 14, 2005
- ICIJ, DANIEL PEARL AWARDS
- Burger, Timothy J (2002-02-22). "Kidnappers Cut Pearl's Throat Videotape Shows Newsman's Brutal Slaying". Daily News (New York) (Daily News, L.P.). p. 3. - 'Fahad Naseem, one of the three militants accused of kidnapping Pearl, told a judge in Karachi yesterday that Pearl was kidnapped because he was "a Jew and is working against Islam."'
- Masood, Salman; Talat Hussain (2004-05-29). "Suspect in Reporter's Death Is Wanted in Attacks on Musharraf". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). p. Section A; Column 3; Foreign Desk; Pg. 2. - 'The intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that information from American intelligence agencies helped Pakistani investigators track down the ring involved in the plot. Information from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al Qaeda's former head of operations who was captured in March 2002, aided the investigation, he said. American officials say they believe that Mr. Mohammed was the person who actually killed Mr. Pearl.'
- Popham, Peter (2002-02-23). "Video Reveals the Hideous Sacrifice of Captive Reporter; Pearl murder gruesome tape shows American speaking into camera as unknown killer slits his throat, then beheads him.". The Independent (Newspaper Publishing PLC). p. 2.
- Lévy, Bernard-Henri, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, Melville House Publishing, 2003. ISBN 0-9718659-4-9
- Pearl, Daniel, At Home in the World: Collected Writings from the Wall Street Journal, New York: Free Press, June 2002. ISBN 0-7432-4317-X
- Pearl, Mariane, and Sarah Crichton, A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl, New York: Scribner, 2003. ISBN 0-7432-4442-7
- Pearl, Ruth and Judea, eds. I Am Jewish: Personal Reflections Inspired by the Last Words of Daniel Pearl. Jewish Lights Pub., January 2004. ISBN 1-58023-183-7.
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