Man carrying Pearl’s murder tape arrested
KARACHI- A man, who had allegedly handed over the videotape showing the killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl, was taken into custody in Karachi and shifted to Islamabad on Friday.
Well-placed sources in the Sindh police said that Ahmed Jan, who works for the marketing section of a Peshawar-based newspaper, had delivered the videotape to the US Consulate in Karachi around 10:30pm on Thursday. He was taken into custody immediately and later shifted to Islamabad.
It could not be confirmed which law enforcement agency had taken him into custody.
Sources said that Ahmed Jan, apparently a stranger in Karachi, did not know the location of the US Consulate and he sought help of two persons who guided him to there. They, too, were taken into custody. Sources did not disclose their identities.
During initial interrogation, sources said, it was revealed that Ahmed Jan had been offered a handsome amount for delivering the videotape. He disclosed the names and whereabouts of the people who had given him the tape and the police subsequently raided those places, but the names appeared to be fake.
Sources said the tape shows Daniel Pearl speaking to one of his captors just before another (captor) beheads him from behind. No other faces, except Pearl’s, appear on the screen as only hands are seen slaying the American reporter.
Police are still groping in the dark about the time and location of Mr Pearl’s killing, they said. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Sindh Home Department said: “The teams carrying out investigation into the case have examined the recorded video cassette containing the scenes showing murder of Daniel Pearl by the kidnappers. Simultaneously, all the field units of Sindh police have been directed to look for the dead body of Mr Pearl.
The investigation teams are also coordinating with the agencies for inputs and assistance. Further, efforts to arrest the identified accused have been re-doubled.
“Some important clues have been developed to identify more members of the criminal network,” he concluded.
The house where Mr Pearl’s wife, Marianne, has been staying in Karachi since the Bombay-based correspondent was kidnapped, was ringed by the police early Friday. A woman reached by telephone at the residence referred all callers to Mr Pearl’s newspaper’s headquarters in New York.
News of Mr Pearl’s death came hours after three men accused of sending e-mails containing photos of Mr Pearl and threats to kill him appeared in a heavily guarded court.
Fahad Naseem and Salman Saquib, cousins believed to be members of an outlawed extremist group, and a former police intelligence officer, Sheikh Adil, were remanded in custody by an anti-terrorism court on Feb 12.
British-born prime suspect Ahmed Omar Saeed Shaikh had earlier told a court that Mr Pearl was dead.
Naseem told the court on Thursday that Saquib had taken him to meet Shaikh Omar two days before Mr Pearl’s abduction on Jan 23, and suggested Mr Pearl may have been targeted because he was a Jew.