Daniel Pearl’s family opposes Justice decision to try KSM in federal court
By Bridget Johnson – 11/14/09 10:44 PM ET
The family of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl expressed disappointment with the Obama administration’s decision to try the professed killer of their son, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in a civilian court.
A statement provided to The Hill late Saturday night, signed by the foundation created by Pearl’s parents, Ruth and Judea Pearl, said:
“We are sorry to learn of the Justice Department decision to try KSM in a NYC Federal Court.
We are respectful of the legal process, but believe that giving confessed terrorists a worldwide platform to publicize their ideology sends the wrong message to potential terrorists, inviting them in essence, to resort to violence and cruelty in order to gain publicity.
We believe that justice is better served if the trial of KSM, the confessed murderer of Daniel Pearl, be held in closed session.”
The concern about giving terrorists a P.R. platform echoes sentiments expressed by Judea Pearl in a September op-ed in the WSJ, in which he penned an open letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
In 2007, the Pentagon released a reported confession to the 2002 slaying of Pearl, in which Mohammed reportedly said at a Guantanamo Bay hearing, “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.”