Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh should have been executed 18 years ago. Instead, an Islamic country seeks to free him. We never should have left it to Pakistan.
I remember, to this day, seeing the beheading video of Daniel Pearl. It was the brutal, gruesome. I never watched another beheading video. No moral human could. It was not like in the movies. No one fell swoop. It was sawing with a knife. It was monstrous.
Jeff Jacoby wrote this in 2002:
THE VIDEO of Daniel Pearl’s beheading is searing and nightmarish, but the key to its power is not that it shows him dead. It is that it shows him alive. You look into his eyes, you hear his voice, you all but smell his fear as he tells the camera what his captors are forcing him to say.
“My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish American from . . . Encinco, California, USA. I come from, on my father’s side, a family of Zionists. My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel. . .”
The three-minute video is a piece of Islamist pornography: A frightened Jew — even better, a frightened American Jew — confesses his Jewish roots and denounces US foreign policy. Then his head is cut off and brandished triumphantly as English words scroll up the screen: “And if our demands are not met, this scene shall be repeated again and again.”
The video has been posted for weeks on a number of obscure Internet sites. It is reportedly a great hit in Saudi Arabia, the country that has supplied tens of thousands of recruits and vast financial subsidies to the cause of Islamist jihad. Last month, CBS aired a brief portion of the video — though not its grisly ending — “so that you can see and judge for yourself,” as Dan Rather put it, “the kind of propaganda terrorists are using in their war against the United States.”
And yet this video, depraved and evil as it is, does something for Daniel Pearl that has been done for virtually none of Al Qaeda’s other victims: It makes him real. It allows him to be seen as a flesh-and-blood human being, a guy with a face and a voice and a house in Encino. Countless Americans who never knew him in life will experience Pearl’s death as a sickening kick in the gut. His murder is an atrocity they will take personally — because they will have seen it with their own eyes.
Islamist terrorists butchered more than 3,000 innocent men, women, and children last Sept. 11. And before them there had been more than a thousand other victims — in the Marine barracks in Beirut, on Pan Am 103, in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, at the Khobar Towers barracks, in the embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, on board the USS Cole. Yet who, their families and friends excepted, knows what any of them looked like? Who remembers any of their names?
Could former public schoolboy who became a terrorist after being radicalised at LSE return to British soil now Pakistan has overturned his death sentence for beheading US journalist Daniel Pearl?
- Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, 46, was jailed for the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl who was beheaded in Pakistan in 2002
- Sheikh appealed his conviction and his sentence was reduced to one of seven years for kidnapping. He has already served 18 years behind bars
- Now there are fears that Sheikh, who is from East London and attended the £20,000-per-year Forest School before studying at LSE, will return to the UKBy Duncan Gardham and Ross Ibbetson for Mail Online,A former public schoolboy who became a terrorist after being radicalised at LSE could return to Britain now that Pakistan has overturned his death sentence for beheading a US journalist.
Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, 46, of Wanstead, east London, was found guilty of the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002.Sheikh ran a kidnap gang that targeted Westerners and handed his victim to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, who has claimed that he conducted the execution ‘with my blessed right hand.’Sindh High Court found Sheikh guilty of a lesser charge of kidnapping and sentenced him to seven years in prison. He has already been on death row for 18 years.The court also acquitted three others who were said to be part of the kidnap gang, Fahad Naseem, Sheikh Adil, and Salman Saqib.Now it is feared that Sheikh, who was was educated at the £20,000-per-year Forest School in Walthamstow, could return to the UK.Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, 46, (left) of Wanstead, east London , was found guilty of the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (right) in 2002Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh arrives at a court in Karachi, Pakistan, in March 2002. He told the court: ‘I want to make it clear I will not defend the case. It was of my own free will. Right or wrong I had my own reasons. I think our country should not be catering to America’s needs.’Khwaja Naveed, one of Sheikh’s lawyers, said he could go free unless the government chooses to challenge the court decision.‘Justice has been done for my clients,’ he added.However, Faiz Shah, prosecutor general for southern Sindh province, said the government will appeal to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.Sheikh’s father, originally from the Punjab Province of Pakistan settled in Wanstead East London in 1968 and established a wholesale clothing company.Sheikh attended the Forest School, a public school founded in 1834, which counts former English cricket captain Nasser Hussain and the current Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis among its old boys.Sheikh became the school chess champion at the age of 11 but his father took the family back to Pakistan when Sheikh was 13, and he was sent to Aitchison College, a prestigious school favoured by Pakistan’s elite and dubbed Pakistan’s Eton.Sheikh returned to Forest School two years later where he competed as a shot-putter in the school athletics team, took part in organised arm wrestling competitions, and was made a school prefect.He passed his A-levels with A grades in economics and maths, B grades in general studies and English and a D in religious studies AS level and went on to study applied mathematics, statistics, economics and social psychology at the London School of Economics in 1992.
- Khwaja Naveed, one of Sheikh’s lawyers, said he could go free unless the government chooses to challenge the court decision. ‘Justice has been done for my clients,’ he added
- British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh is surrounded by armed police as he arrives at a court in Karachi, Pakistan in March 2002
- Sheikh attended the Forest School, a public school founded in 1834, which counts former English cricket captain Nasser Hussain and the current Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis among its former pupilsAt LSE he joined the university Islamic society and became increasingly interested political causes, travelling to Bosnia on an aid convoy on which he met a member of the Pakistani militant group Harkut-ul-Mujahideen (HuM).He joined the group in Pakistan and attended a training camp in Afghanistan in 1993 and began to orchestrate kidnappings on their behalf.Before the Pearl kidnapping, he befriended three Britons at a café in Delhi, India, in 1994 and invited them and an American back to his house, where his fellow kidnappers were waiting for them.An Indian police patrol found the kidnappers close to the safe house, a gunfight broke out in which a senior Indian policeman was killed and Sheikh was shot in the shoulder. All the hostages were freed unharmed.
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