The death of Danny Pearl

A barbaric act: Pakistan must ferret out the murderers of the American reporter.

February 23, 2002

THE KIDNAPPING and brutal murder of Daniel Pearl have shown Americans once again (not that any reminder was necessary) the barbarism and senseless violence that Islamic extremism breeds.

Daniel Pearl, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, was whisked into oblivion after agreeing to meet with a source in the Pakistani city of Karachi who had ties to an Islamic terrorist group. His abductors hustled him into a car in downtown Karachi, and he was never seen again.

In the days that followed, the American public heard ridiculous conditions for Mr. Pearl's release, saw videotapes of him in shackles and handcuffs, and tried to sort through the shady world of Islamic thugs in Pakistan. On Thursday, American and Pakistani officials said they had been given a videotape of his murder.

It is now absolutely critical for the Pakistani government to track down and hand over to the United States anyone suspected of having a hand in the kidnapping and murder of Mr. Pearl. His death is a devastating tragedy for his family, but he is mourned as well by an international community of journalists and by all in the civilized world who abhor such wanton and cowardly acts.

Mr. Pearl was not just a journalist, he was a son, a husband, a father-to-be. He was a talented and handsome young man doing his job. So why Danny Pearl?

Some say that Mr. Pearl was chosen to be sacrificed as a warning to the rest of the Western media. If so, they have not yet learned the lesson of Sept. 11. This country doesn't just get mad, it gets even. And then some.

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