Back in 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed from his Guantanamo cell that he had killed former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. Now it looks like he was telling the truth. From JTA:
Four men were wrongfully convicted of the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl nine years ago, while the actual killer is the suspected mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, a new investigation alleges.
The revelations, which include the allegation that a dozen terrorists involved in the killing are still at large and operating, are based on a three-year investigation by the Pearl Project conducted by journalism students and faculty at Georgetown University and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Heading the probe was a Asra Nomani, Pearl’s colleague, from whose house in Karachi, Pakistan, the reporter left on the day of his 2002 disappearance supposedly for an interview with a high-level terrorist source.
The four men convicted in the slaying remain in jail, but the actual killer is Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the key figure in the 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center, according to the project analysis.
I heard Nomani talking about their investigation on NPR. It sound like to her the smoking gun was a hand vein analysis that the FBI or CIA did comparing the hand that beheaded Pearl with a photo of Mohammed’s hand. They were a perfect match.
Many more new details were revealed by The Pearl Project, and you can check it out here. Here are a few more of the key findings, via LAObserved:
The kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl was a multifaceted, at times chaotic conspiracy. The Pearl Project has identified 27 men who played a part in the events surrounding the case. Members of at least three different militant groups took part in the crimes, including a team of kidnappers led by British-Pakistani Omar Sheikh and a team of killers led by Al Qaeda strategist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is known as KSM….
Nearly half of those implicated in Pearl’s abduction-murder — at least 14 men with some alleged involvement — are thought to remain free. The list includes guards, drivers, and fixers tied to the conspiracy.
What will happen next is unclear. I think Pakistan feels like they’ve washed their hands of Pearl’s death, and without Pakistan’s help there isn’t much the U.S. can do.