Al-Qaeda's New Boss Linked to Pearl's Killing

Saif al-Adel discussed reporter's kidnapping with KSM
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2011 2:41 AM CDT
New al-Qaeda Boss Saif al-Adel Linked to Daniel Pearl Beheading
This undated image released by the FBI shows Saif al-Adel, the new chief of al-Qaeda.   (AP Photo/FBI, File)

The 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl can be added to new al-Qaeda leader Saif al-Adel's extensive record of murder and mayhem, according to Georgetown University's Pearl Project. Investigators found that the Egyptian discussed the kidnapping with alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and decided al-Qaeda should become involved, Reuters reports.

Mohammed—who later confessed to beheading Pearl—"told the FBI that he was pulled into the kidnapping by a high-level leader in al-Qaeda circles, an Egyptian named Saif al-Adel, who told him to make the kidnapping an al-Qaeda operation," the Georgetown report states. Osama bin Laden was angered by Pearl's killing, believing it attracted too much attention to al-Qaeda's network inside Pakistan, according to the report. (More Daniel Pearl stories.)

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