Pearl and Nomani in Karachi. Via the Washingtonian.
Asra Q. Nomani was a close friend and Wall Street Journal colleague of Daniel Pearl. It was from her house in Karachi that the Los Angeles native left on January 23, 2002 for the interview he never returned from. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has claimed that he wielded the knife. Nomani attend his trial at Guantanamo and writes about her friend in the Washingtonian. Excerpt:
On February 21, 2002, a courier for Danny’s captors met an FBI agent at the Karachi Sheraton and handed over a three-minute propaganda video glorifying his ghastly end.
Danny is without his glasses in the footage, with a few days’ stubble. He professes his Jewish heritage and criticizes the alliance between the US and Israel—obviously reading from a script—as the sound of exploding mortars blasts in the background.
Suddenly Danny is on his back and a hand holding a long knife saws furiously at his throat.
The next frame comes quickly—the video has obviously been edited—and shows Danny supine, a bloody swamp in place of his neck.
The film cuts to the killer holding Danny’s head up high by his hair for a good ten seconds.
Clearly, it was meant for the world to see—and after jihadis circulated it online and CBS News aired parts on its evening broadcast, millions did.
A year later, KSM was captured and taken by US intelligence officials to a secret detention center, where he was tortured and waterboarded throughout months of interrogations. During that time, and again after being transferred to the prison at Guantánamo, KSM confessed to his membership in al-Qaeda and to plotting a long list of terrorist attacks including the 1993 World Trade Center explosion, Richard Reid’s botched shoe bombing, and 9/11. He also confessed to cutting off Danny’s head.
A US military commission charged KSM and his four accomplices with terrorism, hijacking, conspiracy, and murder for killing 2,976 people on September 11.
But he hasn’t ever been charged with Danny’s death.
That’s why I’ve come to Guantánamo.
* Added: Nomani with Warren Olney on KCRW:
Previously on LA Observed:
Pakistan arrests suspect in Daniel Pearl's murder
Lower: LA Observed photo