In 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the notorious mastermind of the September 11th attacks, admitted to the gruesome murder of Pearl. However, doubts existed as to whether or not he had actually been involved in the murder. He has not been charged partially because he first admitted this while in the CIA’s custody. Mohammed is one of three people who have been waterboarded during the War on Terror.
A newly published report from Georgetown University in conjunction with the Center for Public Integrity has confirmed through the use of vascular technology that Mohammed is the person seen in the propaganda video decapitating Pearl. According to the report there were another 26 men involved in the kidnapping and murder of Pearl and more than half of them remain free today.
The Pearl Project, as it has been known, is run by Barbara Feinman Todd, director of Georgetown’s journalism program, and Asra Nomani, a former colleague of Pearl’s at the WSJ.
Together the two professors teach “Media and Social Justice: International Investigative Project,” an upper-level English course that has contributed significant amounts of research for the 31,000 word report.
Thirty-two students have participated in the project since the first class session on September 4, 2007, according to Feinman Todd.
In the author’s note of the study Nomani wrote that the two professors set out for the class to figure out who killed Pearl and to figure out who in Pakistan facilitated Richard Reid, who attempted to detonate a bomb in his shoes on a plane in 2001.
“That was the story Danny was chasing when he died,” Nomani wrote.
“We are heartened by the global recognition the report has received,” Feinman Todd wrote in an email to Vox. “Danny’s story clearly is one that has touched the hearts of people around the world and we hope justice will finally be served.”