Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the truth when he boasted to interrogators that he killed Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002, a new investigation into the case finds. The Pearl Project, spearheaded by Pearl's colleague Asra Nomani, issued its report Thursday.
The 3½ year investigation concludes that 27 people were involved in Pearl's kidnapping and murder in Pakistan, where Pearl was investigating the shoe-bomber Richard Reid.
Of them, "14 remain free on the streets of Pakistan, one of them allegedly making suicide vests in Waziristan," Nomani writes in a summary on the Daily Beast website. Although four men were convicted in Pakistani courts for the murder, "in fact, justice was not served. Leads weren't followed. Suspects weren't interviewed. And alleged co-conspirators weren't prosecuted. The truth was left behind."
The report contains fascinating details from Mohammed's interrogations, including his reaction to the 9/11 attacks and indecision among his kidnappers and al-Qaida officials about what to do with Pearl once they kidnapped him. Mohammed told interrogators he decided to kill Pearl for propaganda and to ensure he'd face the death penalty if arrested by the U.S. Conveniently," he added, "Danny was Jewish."
The FBI confirmed Mohammed's claim by analyzing his veins and comparing them with the hand shown on video beheading Pearl. He was already dead, the investigation finds, but the murder wasn't videotaped, so it was restaged for cameras.
The investigation was conducted by Georgetown University faculty and students. It is modeled after the Arizona Project, in which journalists investigated the murder of a colleague as he investigated organized crime. Read the full report from the Center for Public Integrity here. For more on Nomani, click here.