“My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish” – The last words of Daniel Pearl

Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 – February 1, 2002) was born in Princeton, New Jersey to Ruth and Judea Pearl. His mother is of Iraqi Jewish descent and his father is Israeli, of Polish-Jewish descent. His family moved to the Encino district of Los Angeles, California, when his father took a position with UCLA. His father, Judea Pearl, is a professor of Computer Science and Statistics, and director of the Cognitive Systems Laboratory at UCLA. He has received the Turing Award. The history of the family and its connections to Israel are described by Judea Pearl in the LA Times article, “Roots in th e Holy Land”.

Daniel Pearl attended Stanford University from 1981 to 1985, where he stood out as a Communication major with Phi Beta Kappa honors, a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Society, a co-founder of a student newspaper called the Stanford Commentator,, as well as a reporter for the campus radio station KZSU. Pearl graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in Communication.

Pearl started his professional journalism career at the North Adams Transcript and The Berkshire Eagle in western Massachusetts. From there he moved to the San Francisco Business Times. In 1990 Pearl moved to the Atlanta bureau of the Wall Street Journal, and moved again in 1993 to its Washington, D.C., bureau to cover telecommunications. In 1996 he was assigned to the London bureau and in 1999 to Paris. His articles covered a range of topics, such as the October 1994 story of a Stradivarius violin allegedly found on a highway on-ramp, and a June 2000 story about Iranian pop music. He became more involved in international affairs: his most notable investigations covered the ethnic wars in the Balkans, where he discovered that charges of an alleged genocide committed in Kosovo were unsubstantiated. He also explored the American missile attack on a supposed military facility in Khartoum, which he proved to have been a pharmaceutical factory. In 1999 in Paris, Pearl met and married French journalist Mariane Van Neyenhoff, a reporter and columnist for Glamour. Her father was Dutch and mother Cuban. Their son, Adam Daniel Pearl, was born in Paris, France on May 28, 2002, almost four months after Pearl’s death.

On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped near the Metropole Hotel at 7:00 p.m. by a militant group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. The group claimed Pearl was a spy and—using a Hotmail e-mail address —sent the United States a range of demands, including the freeing of all Pakistani terror detainees, and the release of a halted U.S. shipment of F-16 fighter jets to the Pakistani government. Nine days later, the terrorists killed Pearl by beheading. On May 16, his severed head and decomposed body were found cut into ten pieces, and buried, along with an identifying jacket, in a shallow grave at Gadap, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Karachi. Pearl’s remains were returned to the U.S. Pearl was interred in the Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

On February 21, 2002, a videotape was released titled The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl. The video shows Pearl’s mutilated body, and lasts 3 minutes and 36 seconds.

During the video, Pearl said:
My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA. I come from, uh, on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel. Pearl condemned American foreign policy in the video. However, his parents have stated that they are sure he was forced to do so as propaganda, saying that he was “a proud American, and he abhorred extremist ideologies.” The family also identified some signals from Pearl in the video which shows he disagreed with what he was forced to say. Following these statements, Pearl’s throat was slit, and his head was severed. The video concluded with the captors demanding the release of all Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. They warned that, if their demands were not met, they would repeat such a beheading “again and again.”  [Wikipedia]

Horrifying new details of how Daniel Pearl, the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter, met his death have emerged from the interrogation of new suspects by Pakistani police. Pearl, who was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002, knew for several hours that he was about to be killed, but resisted repeated attempts to sedate him, police now believe. He was fully aware of what was happening when the Arab extremists who took control during his final days cut his throat, according to information gleaned from Pakistani militants now in police custody. Shocking video film of Pearl’s murder, seen around the world via the internet, was in fact a partial reconstruction of what had happened a few moments earlier, officers have been told. The camera operator made a mistake and missed the moment of his death, which his murderers then re-enacted, before decapitating the reporter. [The Telegraph]

The identity of Daniel Pearl’s murderer isn’t a mystery, and he isn’t at large. Yet Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has not been formally accused nor tried for the crime. WSJ’s Jerry Seib explains in the video below