Pakistani militant arrested over 2002 murder of American reporter Daniel Pearl


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The Independent Online

Pakistan has arrested a former militant leader in connection with the 2002 murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, security officials said.

Qari Abdul Hai, once a leader of the outlawed Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), was arrested on Sunday during a security crackdown in Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, the officials said.

Pearl, an American, was kidnapped in Karachi while researching a story on Islamist militants in the months after the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qa’ida militant who claimed responsibility for the 11 September  attacks, said he beheaded Pearl after his kidnapping.

It was not clear what role Hai was suspected of playing in the kidnapping and murder.

The LeJ has emerged as a major security threat in Pakistan. It has claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that have killed hundreds of Shias this year.