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Pakistan’s Top Court Orders Release of Islamist Convicted of Beheading WSJ Journalist Daniel Pearl

Pakistan’s Top Court Orders Release of Islamist Convicted of Beheading WSJ Journalist Daniel Pearl

UK-born Omar Sheikh confessed to his role in the 2002 killing.

Pakistan’s highest court has ordered the release of an Islamist sentenced to death for the kidnapping and beheading of the American journalist Daniel Pearl.

Omar Saeed Sheikh, the main suspect in the killing, and three other co-conspirators “are to be released immediately if they are not required in any other case,” the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

British-born Omar Sheikh confessed to his role in the 2002 killing. Sheikh lured Pearl to Karachi, where he was beheaded and dumped in a shallow grave. The video of the gruesome decapitation emerged weeks after Pearl’s disappearance.

Pearl, The Wall Street Journal‘s South Asia bureau chief, was investigating the link between the Al Qaeda and Richard C. Reid, the “shoe bomber,” who tried to blow up a Paris-to-Miami flight in 2002.

Al Qaeda’s 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad boasted of beheading Pearl personally.

“I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl,” Mohammad told U.S. investigators in 2003 after authorities caught him in a hideout in Pakistan.

The Associated Press reported the Pakistan top court’s ruling:

Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordered on Thursday the release of a Pakistani-British man convicted and later acquitted in the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

The court also dismissed an appeal of Ahmad Saeed Omar Sheikh’s acquittal filed by Pearl’s family and the Pakistani government.

A minister in the Sindh province where Sheikh is being held said the government had exhausted all options to keep him locked up — an indication Sheikh could be free within days. The “Supreme Court is the court of last resort,” Murtaza Wahab, Sindh’s law minister, told The Associated Press.

“The Pearl family is in complete shock by the majority decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to acquit and release Ahmed Omer Sheikh and the other accused persons who kidnapped and killed Daniel Pearl,” the Pearl family said in a statement released by their lawyer, Faisal Siddiqi.

We at Legal Insurrection have followed Pearl’s gruesome killing and its aftermath. Professor William A. Jacobson provided an overview of the case in a February 2017 post marking the fifteenth anniversary of the murder.

The White House expressed its anger over the court’s decision.

President Joe Biden’s administration is “outraged by the Pakistani Supreme Court’s decision,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. She described the ruling as “an affront to terrorism victims everywhere” and urged Pakistan’s government to “review its legal options.”

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the ruling “an affront to terrorism victims everywhere, including Pakistan.”

In December, outgoing Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen had expressed the U.S.’s willingness to extradite Pearl’s killers from Pakistan. It is unclear if Biden’s administration will follow that path.

The U.S. gives billions of dollars in military and development-related aid to Pakistan.

“Daniel Pearl’s killing was an abomination, and anyone who played a role in it should be held accountable,” National Press Club President Lisa Matthews demanded. “Pakistan’s government should extradite Pearl’s alleged kidnappers to the United States for trial.”

Going by the track record of Muslim states’ handling of wanted terrorists, there may be little prospect of success in extraditing Pearl’s murderers.

Ahlam al-Tamimi, the woman who allegedly helped bomb a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, is living freely in Jordan, a purported U.S. ally. The bombing killed 14 people, including a pregnant American tourist. Al-Tamimi is treated like a celebrity in Jordan.


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A proper follow-up to this article would include current pictures of the murderer as well as past photos that would allow readers to know his face and features.

If Trump were still in office, he would be facing extrajudicial justice a la Soleimani

    The timing is definitely curious.

      Milhouse in reply to gibbie. | January 31, 2021 at 2:50 am

      Nah, this has been going through the Pakistani courts for years. He was first ordered released nearly a year ago. The government has done everything it can to keep him in custody, and so far he still is, but it’s running out of options.

A thousand ^^^^^^ votes

Probability this administration will extradite this known murderer: Zero point zero zero.

once released, would wager he’s not long for this world

The Friendly Grizzly | January 29, 2021 at 11:51 am

Variation on Chicago‘s affordable bail.

Welcome to the New World Order

Let’s hope the Mossad tidies up this situation. 🙂

The hell with what’s happening in Pakistan. It’s WORSE here in the former America:

California: Muslim lawyer Farhad Khorasani praises Hitler, calls for new genocide of the Jews:

Here’s his CA Bar profile:

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to | January 29, 2021 at 7:53 pm

    And I’m betting that even after posting that vile shit on Twitter he still has his Twitter account as the Community Censorship Council (or whatever the hell the call it) determined that his statements don’t violate any Twitter rules.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to | January 30, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    Sounds to me like he is asking for a crack at those 72 virgins.

    It’s a free country. He’s entitled to say that. Decent people won’t hire him, but he’s already got a full client list of indecent people so he doesn’t have to care.

This should shock nobody. It’s pretty standard for Muslim courts to release prisoners convicted of killing only infidels.

    Milhouse in reply to randian. | January 31, 2021 at 3:05 am

    Nope. The appeals court almost a year ago found there was insufficient evidence to convict him of murder. It found that the evidence supported only kidnapping, so it reduced his sentence from death to 7 years, but he’d already served 18 so it ordered him released. That decision’s been going up the appeals chain ever since, but there’s nowhere to take it past the supreme court. The government wants to keep him in prison but is running out of options.