Slain Wall Street Journal reporter’s wife speaks out
NEW YORK- The wife of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl spoke out about his murder, saying his kidnappers may have taken his life but failed to take his spirit. Mariane Pearl, in a statement issued in New York by the Journal, said she was proud of her husband, whose videotaped death was confirmed by U.S. officials and executives at the newspaper.
Pearl was murdered by his captors who abducted him on Jan. 23 in Karachi, Pakistan, where he was trying to make contact with radical Islamic extremist groups.
“From this act of barbarism, terrorists expect all of us to bow our heads and retreat as victims forever threatened by their ruthlessness,” said Mariane Pearl. “What terrorists forget is that they may seize the life of an innocent man or the lives of many innocent people as they did on Sept. 11, but they cannot claim the spirit or faith of individual human beings,” said Pearl, who is seven months pregnant with the couple’s first child, a son.
“The terrorists who say they killed my husband may have taken his life, but they did not take his spirit. Danny is my life. They may have taken my life, but they did not take my spirit,” she said.
A top Pakistan government official said authorities learned of Pearl’s death from a videotape of the murder sent to a Pakistani reporter in Karachi. But his body has not been found, and it is unclear exactly when and where he was executed.
Dismissing revenge as too “easy,” Mariane Pearl said, “It is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.”
A French national and a journalist along with her husband, who was the Journal’s South Asian bureau chief based in Bombay, India, Pearl said she hoped she “will be able to tell our son that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and citizenship far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations.”
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf denounced the murder as gruesome and ordered an all-out nationwide manhunt for suspects still at large. A Pakistani investigator said police were searching for up to four suspects in the kidnapping.
Pearl disappeared while trying to contact Islamic radical groups and investigate possible links between alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid and the al Qaeda network of suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
The group claiming to hold Pearl, calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, accused Pearl of being a spy — first for the CIA, then for Israeli intelligence.