Authorities in Karachi, Pakistan, have arrested a high-ranking Sunni militant allegedly involved in the brutal slaying of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.
Qari Abdul Hayee, who goes by the alias Asadullah, was picked up in a raid Sunday by members of Pakistan's paramilitary Rangers forces, according to Agence France-Presse. Hayee was the former president of the Sindh province's chapter of extremist organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi's (LeJ).
A spokesperson for the Rangers told AFP that Hayee was "involved in several terror acts" and was "also in the picture about U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl's murder case."
Pearl, who had been the South Asia bureau chief for the Wall Street Journal, was abducted in Pakistan in January of 2002. A video released later showed Pearl's beheading.
In 2007, al Qaeda leader and accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to killing Pearl during a Guantánamo military tribunal.
"I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan," Mohammed was quoted as saying in a Pentagon transcript. Mohammed has yet to be charged in the murder, according to ABC News.
Pakistan did convict four men of the murder. In 2002, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death and Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem and Shaikh Adil were given 25-year sentences.
Questions about the case remain, however.
A three-year investigation into Pearl's murder was conducted by a team from Georgetown University's journalism program and concluded that "justice was not served for Danny." According to a statement released in 2011 by the university, Sheikh, Saqib, Naseem and Adil were the only men charged or convicted out of the 27 allegedly involved in the case. At the time, the Georgetown team concluded that 14 men tied to the case remained free.
The report identified Qari Abdul Hayee as one of the 27 involved and listed him as an explosives and weapons expert who had helped plan the kidnapping and guarding of Pearl.
Furthermore, the Georgetown report stated that "Pakistani authorities knowingly used perjured testimony" to convict Omar Sheikh and his co-conspirators, but that those four were not actually present during the beheading.
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