“Now you are kidnapped”

A year after the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl, The Wall Street Journal has published a lengthy article that provides new details, including the email exchanges between Pearl and his kidnappers in the days leading up to the abduction. On January 23, 2002, the Journal reporter was lured to a restaurant in Karachi, ostensibly to meet a fundamentalist leader. Today’s story explains what happened next:

“People familiar with the interrogations of suspects say they later revealed that a single, unarmed kidnapper driving a car awaited Mr. Pearl at the Village Restaurant, with one or two more apparently out of sight on a motorcycle. Mr. Pearl climbed into the vehicle and was driven for about 40 minutes to the northern outskirts of the city. The car, led by the motorcycle, pulled into a small compound with a two-room building, and Mr. Pearl stepped out of the car.

“On the motorcycle was a man named Naeem Bukhari. He was the leader of the Karachi chapter of a militant group called Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, and sought in connection with dozens of murders of members of Pakistan’s Shiite minority. Police say Mr. Bukhari got off the motorcycle, walked over to Mr. Pearl and put his arm around his shoulders as though in friendship, but then he used the other hand to put a gun to Mr. Pearl’s ribs. ‘Now you are kidnapped,’ he said, according to the person familiar with the case, who adds: ‘Danny thought he was joking, but once they were inside they made him strip to check him.'”

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.