Schlagwort-Archive: murder

The Journalist Who Dined With Terrorists And Spies

To be honest: I was never a huge fan of Syed Saleem Shahzad´s work. His articles in the Asia Times, his inside knowledge of Al-Qaida´s activities, his sources within the Pakistani intelligence community, his suggestions about Bin Laden´s whereabouts – all that to me seemed to be so overstated, so unrealistic, I very much doubted Shahzad´s credibility.

That was for a quite simply reason: it was unbelievable how much this journalist colleague knew in detail about the Jihadi world of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shahzad interviewed Al-Qaida´s Chief planner Ilyas Kashmiri although CIA and ISI claimed he was killed in a U.S. drone strike. How on earth was Syed Saleem Shahzad able to do what he did?

I sent him an e-mail once, asking about his opinion on foreign Jihadi militants in the Waziristan region. Shahzad never responded.

Now Syed Saleem Shahzad is dead. He was kidnapped, tortured and killed. The killers later dumped his dead body on a field in eastern Pakistan where it was found May 30th. Who killed the journalist who dined with terrorists and powerful intelligence officers? There is no question why Shahzad was killed. The answer is: he knew too much – in so many ways.

Read Dexter Filkins´ mind-blowing piece „The Journalist and the Spies“ in The New Yorker to learn more about the case of Syed Saleem Shahzad. Filkins collected all the information available about Shahzad´s work in the weeks leading to his death. He presents a remarkable article taking you deep inside Pakistan´s intelligence world and how one journalist became too dangerous for so many elements of the dirty game that is still going on in that part of the world.

I also advise you to read Shahzad´s last book „Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: 9/11 and Beyond“ to get a glimpse of an idea how detailed and sometimes truely unbelievable this man´s knowledge about Al-Qaida, the Taliban & Co. was.

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The Horrors Of War

„I want the American people to know that the US troops are oppressing our youths and elders before their kids and wives. If there is any conscience left in the West, it should be awakened“ – Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.

What he was referring to, is a story coming from Afghanistan, a story about unit of US soldiers stationed in Kandahar Province who formed a „Kill Team“, hunting down Afghan civilians, killing innocent people for fun, cutting of their fingers as trophies and posing with dead bodies, smiling for pictures.

All this took place last year and was made public because some of those American servicemen involved were speaking, telling their families back home what their comrades had done to the Afghan people.

Last week, German newspaper DER SPIEGEL published the story of the Bravo Company´s 5th Stryker Brigade, telling the background of the soldiers who went to war and turned into murderers. The magazine said in a worldwide investigation they had obtained 4,000 pictures and video files the US military had confiscated and kept under wraps since then. The criminal investigation in the USA had already started – but the private images taken by the soldiers were never shown to the public because the Pentagon claimed they could cause violent protest and possibly even terrorist attacks because of the nature of those graphic pictures.

US-Magazine „The Rolling Stone“ now presents a detailed account of the killings of Bravo Company, publishing even more pictures and videos showing the killing of Afghan civilians and Taliban fighters by the American soldiers. It is an extraordinary piece journalistic work, a story of a crime that – in the long-term – will have the same impact on the US-led wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere as the Abu Ghraib torture images.

Read „The Kill Team“ here

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Did Personally Kill Daniel Pearl

by Florian Flade

„With my blessed right hand…“ – The hand of Al-Qaida leader Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Daniel Pearl Execution Video

„I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head“

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confession during U.S. military in 2007

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The alleged 9/11 chief planner Pakistani national Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told US interrogators in 2007 he personally killed the US Wall Street Journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. Pearl was kidnapped on January 23 2002 while on his way to interview a Pakistani Jihadi leader in Karachi. The group which later claimed responsibility for the abduction called itself „The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty“. Pearl´s kidnappers claimed the Jewish American was a CIA agent working in Pakistan to hunt down al-Qaida.

Several demands for Pearl´s release were sent via e-mail, including the release of all Pakistani terror prisoners held by the US. Pictures showing the journalist holding a newspaper and a man standing right next to him, holding a gun to Pearl´s head were attached to the e-mail sent by the kidnappers.

On February 21 2002 the kidnapper group released a disturbing video showing the execution of Daniel Pearl. Titled „The Slaughter of the Spy-Journalist, the Jew Daniel Pearl“ the 3-minute tape shows Pearl´s throat being slit and later the beheading is shown as well as the mutilated body of the journalist. A unknown man is then seen holding the head of Pearl in front of the camera.

Daniel Pearl´s body and head were found on May 16 2002 north of Karachi.

About a year later – on March 1 2003 – the alleged 9/11 chief planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested by Pakistani security forces in a compound in Rawalpindi. The CIA then sent Mohammed on a tour around secret intelligence prisons around the world before imprisoning him at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. During military interrogations the Pakistani al-Qaida leader confessed of having planned the 9/11 attacks and also executed Daniel Pearl.

Pakistani investigation had revealed Mohammed´s involvement in the Pearl murder. It was suspected Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had ordered the American hostage to be killed but it was not known or confirmed he himself beheaded the journalist. Human Right´s critics questioned the CIA confession transcripts of Sheikh Mohammed and said they could not be trusted as the al-Qaida suspect probably confessed due to torture and abuse.

Now a report by the Georgetown University says US intelligence officials have erased any doubts Khalid Sheikh Mohammed´s claims of personally having killed Daniel Pearl. A new report filed by Georgetown University says new technological tools were used to compare the hand of the murderer of Pearl with the actual hand of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is in Guantánamo Prison waiting for his trial. The Pearl murder video did not show the killer´s face or identity, only the hands are seen cutting off the hostage´s head.

A technique known as „vein-matching“ delivered new information and resulted in the conclusion Mohammed indeed did kill Pearl himself. During this process the blood veins seen on the hand of the killer were compared with those of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – the images matched.

More in my Welt Online article