It appears that the U.S. government is allowing 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) to get away with the barbaric murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was 38 years old when Islamic terrorists kidnapped and beheaded him in Pakistan two decades ago. Five years after Pearl’s gruesome death, KSM told a U.S. Military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba that he killed the journalist. “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan,” KSM said in a 2007 Pentagon transcript of the hearing. “For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head.” In the hearing KSM also revealed that he was involved in more than 30 attacks.
Two decades later, military commission prosecutors, for unknown reasons, have decided not to pursue the Pearl charges against KSM, who has been incarcerated at Gitmo since 2006. He is one of 38 terrorists remaining in the top security compound at the U.S. Naval base in southeast Cuba along with fellow 9/11 co-conspirators Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarek Bin ‘Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Ramzi Bin al Shibh, and Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawsawi. A few weeks ago the Department of Defense (DOD) announced that pre-trial proceedings for the September 11, 2001 terrorists are scheduled for mid-September to mid-October. Ten days later, without any type of public announcement or explanation, the DOD’s Office of Military Commissions quietly filed a motion essentially indicating that KSM will get away with Pearl’s murder.
Dated July 29, 2022, the document is officially known as a joint discovery filing and it raises a lot of questions. The new filing also highlights the continuing scandal that, all these years later, the U.S. government has failed to resolve this case. The four-page court filing says KSM, referred to as Mr. Mohammad, agrees to waive his right to discovery related to the investigation into Pearl’s murder. “The Prosecution in turn agrees not to reference Mr. Pearl’s death, its circumstances, investigation, or any evidence allegedly implicating Mr. Mohammad in its commission, at any time during these proceedings including, but not limited to, pre-trial, case-in-chief, rebuttal, pre-sentencing, or post-conviction proceedings,” the filing states. “The Prosecution will not introduce any testimony, other evidence or argument, and will instruct all government witnesses to refrain from making statements regarding the subject matter of the investigation or Mr. Mohammad’s alleged involvement in the underlying events. To the extent it has previously referenced the investigation, and/or evidence arising from any source that allegedly implicates Mr. Mohammad in the subject of the investigation, the Prosecution respectfully withdraws its reliance on any such references and requests the Commission not to rely upon any statement or assertion regarding the investigation, or Mr. Mohammad’s alleged connection to its subject matter, in making any determination during the pendency of these proceedings.”
The court filing continues to say that should Pearl’s murder “later become an issue,” the matter could be revisited. In an exhausting, run-on sentence the legal document states the following: “If the Prosecution later believes the murder of Mr. Pearl has become an issue before the Commission, it shall not introduce any testimony, other evidence, argument or reference to Mr. Pearl’s death, related circumstances, investigation or Mr. Mohammad’s alleged connection to such matters until it has provided counsel for Mr. Mohammad with timely notice of its intention to introduce and/or refer to such matters, and the Commission has afforded Mr. Mohammad the opportunity to litigate fully his entitlement to all discoverable information and challenges to the government’s evidence and arguments on all grounds including, but not limited to, whether they are the product of torture.”
Pearl disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan on January 23, 2002, while working on a story involving shoe bomber Richard Reid’s potential ties to Al Qaeda. His supposed source, Omar Shaikh, kidnapped him and turned him over to Al Qaeda. The Pearl Project at Georgetown University has published an extensive report with a detailed timeline of the events leading up to Pearl’s murder, including the moment KSM arrived at the Al Qaeda safehouse to behead him. Now it seems like the U.S. government is letting him off the hook for the atrocious crime and the American public deserves an explanation.