Militant held in Daniel Pearl killing

Pakistani security forces in Karachi have arrested a militant in connection with the murder of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was abducted 11 years ago in that southern port city and beheaded, officials said Tuesday.

Qari Abdul Hayee, who is affiliated with the extremist group behind a wave of recent deadly attacks targeting Shiite Muslims, was captured Sunday by a paramilitary unit known as the Sindh Rangers, an investigator with the unit said.

The Rangers were conducting a sweep for suspects in a devastating bombing two weeks ago in a Shiite neighborhood in Karachi. Hayee had been hiding in the city for the past few months, said the investigator, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not an authorized spokesman.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped while researching an article on Islamic militants. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the al-Qaeda operative who has said he planned the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, also took responsibility for beheading Pearl. He remains in U.S. custody at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba but has not been charged in Pearl’s death. An investigation published in 2011 identifies him as Pearl’s likely killer.

“We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all of those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny,” said his parents, Judea and Ruth Pearl, in a statement Monday.

Daniel Pearl (Associated Press)

Hayee is a former Karachi leader of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni Muslim militant group that mainly carries out attacks on Shiite Muslims.

But investigators said the group also has been working in alliance with the Pakistani Taliban, which is waging a bloody insurgency against the Pakistani army and wants to impose sharia law in Pakistan.

Nisar Mehdi in Karachi contributed to this report.

Richard Leiby is a senior writer in Post’s Style section. His previous assignments have included Pakistan Bureau Chief, and reporter, columnist and editor in Washington. He joined The Post in 1991.

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