Opinion | Extradite Daniel Pearl’s Kidnapper

Police encompass Omar Sheikh as he comes out of a courtroom in Karachi, Pakistan, March 29, 2002.


aamir qureshi/Agence France-Presse/Getty Photographs

I used to be sworn in as U.S. lawyer for the District of New Jersey on Jan. 17, 2002. Six days later,

Daniel Pearl,

South Asia bureau chief for The Wall Avenue Journal, was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan. Pearl was investigating a narrative in regards to the shoe bomber,

Richard Reid,

and had been promised by his kidnappers that they’d take him to fulfill Sheikh

Mubarak Ali Gilani.

Pearl believed Sheikh Mubarak had info relating to Mr. Reid, the British terrorist who tried to detonate an explosive gadget in his shoe aboard a Paris-to-Miami flight in December 2001. Pearl by no means met Sheikh Mubarak—the assembly was a setup—and he was by no means seen once more. The killers launched a videotape of Pearl’s homicide.

The Pearl investigation was my baptism into the world of terrorism. We have been all nonetheless reeling from the Sept. 11, 2001, assaults. The FBI had arrange a command middle on the South Brunswick, N.J., headquarters of Dow Jones, the Journal’s writer. By the mixed efforts of the Justice Division and Pakistani authorities, three males have been recognized as having taken half within the abduction. Their group, the Nationwide Motion for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, had been sending ransom calls for to the Dow Jones pc servers in New Jersey. By nice pc forensics, the duty drive of mixed American and Pakistani authorities was capable of establish and arrest three individuals, together with the mastermind of the kidnapping,

Ahmed Omar Saeed


Mr. Sheikh already had a file of terrorism. In 1994, then a member of

Harkat ul-Ansar,

an Islamic militant group, he was convicted of kidnapping 4 individuals, together with an American in India. He was jailed in India however after his terrorist associates hijacked an Indian Airways flight, Mr. Sheikh was freed in trade for the passengers. With help from the Taliban, he made his method to Afghanistan.

Mr. Sheikh was indicted in March 2002 by a New Jersey grand jury for the kidnapping of Pearl leading to his homicide. The indictment continues to be viable and it’s a case for which the U.S. can search the loss of life penalty. In asserting the indictment, Lawyer Common

John Ashcroft

additionally introduced the unsealing of an indictment charging Mr. Sheikh with the kidnapping of the American vacationer in India.

Mr. Sheikh and his co-conspirators have been additionally charged in Pakistan. They have been tried in 2002 and convicted. Whereas his accomplices got life sentences, Mr. Sheikh was sentenced to loss of life. His enchantment languished till April, when a Pakistani courtroom ordered the discharge of all of the defendants on the grounds that there was conflicting testimony on the authentic trial and inadequate proof to help the homicide cost. The Pakistani authorities have been preventing the discharge and have stored Mr. Sheikh jailed. However on Thursday the courtroom once more ordered his launch.

The U.S. and Pakistan don’t have a transparent, formal extradition treaty. Attorneys from my former workplace requested the Justice Division to inform Pakistan formally that the U.S. would love Mr. Sheikh extradited if he’s ever launched. No such formal request has ever been made. That’s an outrage.

In a collection of tweets, the State Division’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs has stated it’s “deeply involved” in regards to the rulings. Daniel Pearl’s mother and father, with the help of The Wall Avenue Journal, have been working to have the unique sentence reinstated. However the Pearl household shouldn’t have to do that on their very own. Mr. Sheikh has twice been indicted within the U.S. for grave terrorist crimes. Washington ought to do greater than categorical concern. Appearing Lawyer Common

Jeffrey Rosen

and Secretary of State

Mike Pompeo

ought to instantly demand that Pakistan extradite Mr. Sheikh instantly upon his launch.

The U.S. can not once more develop into complacent within the face of terrorism. We did that earlier than 9/11 and paid a grievous worth. As a substitute of being distracted by peripheral points within the waning days of this presidency, the Trump administration ought to take this chance to face up in opposition to terror. We owe that a lot to Daniel Pearl and his household.

Mr. Christie served as U.S. lawyer for New Jersey (2002-08) and governor (2009-18).

William Barr returned to the Division of Justice in 2019 to cease it getting used as a political weapon. He succeeded as a result of he was keen to reimpose norms amid a sea of partisan critics. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

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