Daniel Pearl was beheaded by his captors in the city of Karachi. Despite official condemnation from the state itself, such beheading continues to flourish in the Taliban strongholds of Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and are often jarred and unprofessional resulting in increased pain for the victim. Historically, decapitation had been the main method of execution in Thailand, until it was replaced by shooting in 1934. During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–1995) there were a number of ritual beheadings of Serbs and Croats who were taken as prisoners of war by mujahedin members of the Bosnian Army.

Kidnapping and murder of Kenneth Bigley

Kenneth BigleyKen BigleyBigley
Daniel Pearl. Nick Berg. Steven Vincent. Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr. Kim Sun-il. Shosei Koda. Fabrizio Quattrocchi. Seif Adnan Kanaan. Piotr Stańczak. Ken Bigley's wife mourns the loss of her husband – BBC News. Profile:Kenneth Bigley, BBC News, 10 October 2004. "Theatre of terror", by Jason Burke, The Observer, 21 November 2004. "Bigley beheaded after MI6 rescue backfired", by Hala Jaber and Ali Rifat, The Sunday Times, 10 October 2004. "The other prisoners" by Luke Harding, The Guardian, 20 May 2004. "Ken Bigley's hostage cage 'found'", no byline, The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2004. "The final battle" by Peter Beaumont, The Observer, 14 November 2004.


Al Qaedaal-QaidaAl Qaida
A website associated with al-Qaeda posted a video of captured American entrepreneur Nick Berg being decapitated in Iraq. Other decapitation videos and pictures, including those of Paul Johnson, Kim Sun-il, and Daniel Pearl, were first posted on jihadist websites. In December 2004 an audio message claiming to be from bin Laden was posted directly to a website, rather than sending a copy to al Jazeera as he had done in the past. Al-Qaeda turned to the Internet for release of its videos in order to be certain they would be available unedited, rather than risk the possibility of al Jazeera editing out anything critical of the Saudi royal family.

Nick Berg

Nicholas BergBergMurder of Nick Berg
Berg was abducted and beheaded according to a video released in May 2004 by Islamist militants in response to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse involving the United States Army and Iraqi prisoners. The CIA claimed Berg was murdered by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The decapitation video was released on the internet, reportedly from London to a Malaysian-hosted homepage by the Islamist organization Muntada al-Ansar. Berg grew up in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. He was referred to as a "religious Jew." Berg graduated from Henderson High School in West Chester in 1996. In 1996, he was a student at Cornell University but later dropped out.

Piotr Stańczak

Piotr StanczakMurder of Piotr Stańczak
The taped murder was reminiscent of the beheading in 2002 of Daniel Pearl, at that time the last Westerner to be murdered on video in Pakistan. Stańczak was allegedly offered the opportunity to avoid death by converting to Islam. When Stańczak refused, he was forced to read statements before his murder. The video shows Stańczak asking the Polish government not to send troops to Afghanistan, which later leads to the masked men cutting off Stańczak's head. Stańczak's body was later recovered outside a paramilitary camp in Razmak and returned to Poland aboard a Pakistani Air Force plane. A brief ceremony was held on the tarmac.

Paul Marshall Johnson Jr.

Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr.Paul JohnsonPaul M. Johnson
The video was also similar to that of Daniel Pearl, who was killed in Pakistan in 2002, and Kim Sun-il, a South Korean who was killed in Iraq during the same month not long after Johnson was killed in Saudi Arabia. HostingAnime, the company which hosts images and video of his murder, have defended showing his execution. On July 21, 2004, Saudi security officials found Johnson's head in a refrigerator in a villa in Riyadh. Decapitation. Foreign hostages in Iraq. Piotr Stanczak. Eugene Armstrong. Nick Berg. Steven Vincent. Kim Sun-il. Jack Hensley. Kenneth Bigley. Shosei Koda. Margaret Hassan. Seif Adnan Kanaan. Daniel Pearl.

Kim Sun-il

However, on 22 June, after initial reports that the militants had given their hostage more time, Al Jazeera television reported that they had received a videotape footage of Kim being decapitated by five men, like hostages Nick Berg and Eugene Armstrong in Iraq, Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia, and Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. The report was subsequently confirmed by the South Korean government. In the murder video, Kim is fitted with an orange jumpsuit and blindfolded, one of the captors reads a statement and then another captor takes out a knife and decapitates him. The statement said: "Korean citizens, you were warned, your hands were the ones who killed him. Enough lies, enough cheatings.

James Foley (journalist)

James FoleyJames Foley (photojournalist)James Wright Foley
It does not show the actual moment of Foley's decapitation, unlike previous beheading videos, which typically show the entire act. After Foley's beheaded corpse is shown, his executioner reveals that ISIL is holding another American journalist, Time magazine contributor Steven Joel Sotloff, and that he will be killed if President Obama failed to halt air strikes against ISIL. A video showing the beheading of Sotloff was released on September 2, 2014.

ISIL beheading incidents

2014 ISIL beheading incidentsHaruna YukawaHervé Gourdel
Beheading videos have been frequently posted by ISIL members to social media. Several of the videoed beheadings were conducted by Mohammed Emwazi, whom the media referred to as "Jihadi John" (“John” because of his English accent) before his identification. The beheadings received wide coverage around the world and attracted international condemnation. Political scientist Max Abrahms posited that ISIL may be using well-publicized beheadings as a means of differentiating itself from Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), and identifying itself with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda member who beheaded Daniel Pearl.

Steven Sotloff

Steven Joel Sotloff
The ADL Daniel Pearl Award recognizes those who, like Daniel Pearl, have attempted to understand developments on the ground and the perceptions of those who are living through the region's seismic changes. Despite the inherent risks of [his] chosen profession, [he] remained tirelessly committed to "finding the humanity behind the headlines" in Syria and Iraq. The Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF)'s Citation of Courage Award - given for the first time ever when presented to Steven Sotloff and James Foley, in recognition of distinguished service to journalism and the extraordinary courage to face danger in search of the truth ...

Beheading in Islam

beheadingBeheading in Islamismbehead
The 2002 beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl by Al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan drew international attention enhanced by the release of a beheading video. Revulsion in the Muslim community led al Qaeda to abandon video beheadings. Groups in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Tawhid and Jihad and later ISIL, continued the practice. Since 2002, they have been mass circulating beheading videos as a form of terror and propaganda. One of al-Zarqawi's most publicized murders was that of American Nick Berg. Since 2004 insurgents in South Thailand began to sow fear in attacks where men and women of the local Buddhist minority were beheaded.

Islamic terrorism

Islamic terroristIslamic terroristsIslamist terrorism
The group was also implicated in the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. All these groups coordinate under leadership of Syed Salahuddin's United Jihad Council. Some major bomb blasts and attacks in India were perpetrated by Islamic militants from Pakistan, e.g. the 2008 Mumbai attacks and 2001 Indian Parliament attack. 2006 Mumbai train bombings killed 209 people and injured 700 more. It was carried out by banned Students Islamic Movement of India terrorist groups. The 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, orchestrated by the National Thowheeth Jama'ath, were the deadliest terrorist attack in the country since its civil war ended on May 16, 2009.

Osama bin Laden

Bin LadenUsama bin LadenOsama
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن, '; March 10, 1957 – May 2, 2011), also rendered Usama bin Ladin''', was a Saudi Arabian-born Stateless Muslim jihadist who founded the pan-Islamic militant organization al-Qaeda, through which he planned and coordinated terror attacks around the world. He was a Saudi Arabian citizen until 1994 (stateless thereafter), a member of the wealthy bin Laden family.

David Haines (aid worker)

David HainesDavid Cawthorne Haines
Daniel Pearl. The Beatles, terrorist cell of the Islamic State that guarded and beheaded Sotloff.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh

Omar SheikhOmar Saeed SheikhAhmad Umar Sheikh
Several commentators have noted that, as she had previously been speaking about one of the sons of bin Laden during the interview, in all likelihood, Bhutto simply misspoke and had intended to say, "Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Daniel Pearl," rather than "the man who murdered bin Laden" - such an important revelation about bin Laden's fate would certainly not have been stated so casually. Additionally, in subsequent interviews, Bhutto spoke about bin Laden in the context of him being alive. Saeed was arrested by Pakistani police on 12 February 2002, in Lahore, in connection with the Daniel Pearl kidnapping. Pearl had been kidnapped, had his throat slit, and then been beheaded.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Khalid Shaikh MohammedKhalid Sheik MohammedKhalid Sheikh Mohammad
According to a CNN interview with intelligence expert Rohan Gunaratna, "Daniel Pearl was going in search of the al Qaeda network that was operational in Karachi, and it was at the instruction of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that Daniel Pearl was killed." On October 12, 2006, Time magazine reported that "KSM confessed under CIA interrogation that he personally committed the murder." On March 15, 2007, the Pentagon stated that Mohammed had confessed to the murder. The statement quoted Mohammed as saying, "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan.

Judea Pearl

PearlPearl, JudeaProf. Dr. Judea Pearl
Daniel Pearl Foundation Website. Interview with Judea Pearl from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Interview with Judea Pearl on Robots and Free Will.

Saif al-Adel

Saif al-AdlSaif al AdelSayf al-Adl
Since 2011, he has been connected with the kidnapping of the journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. It was originally believed that his real name is Mohammed Ibrahim Makkawi. However, on 29 February 2012, Egyptian authorities arrested a man by that name at Cairo International Airport and it was discovered that he was not Adel. Adel's real name is instead Mohammed Salah al-Din Zaidan. The FBI continues to list Makkawi and not Zaidan on its Most Wanted poster. The Egyptian military has yet to release his files, but it is believed that Saif al-Adel (which translates to "Sword of Justice") is a pseudonym. His real name is thought to be Mohammed Salah al-Din Zaidan.

Mariane Pearl

Mariane van Neyenhoff
Daniel Pearl Foundation. Interview on Monocle 24, The Big Interview with Georgina Godwin.

War on terror

War on TerrorismGlobal War on TerrorismGlobal War on Terror
With the logistics and air support of the United States, the Pakistani Army captured or killed numerous al-Qaeda operatives such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, wanted for his involvement in the USS Cole bombing, the Bojinka plot, and the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The United States has carried out a campaign of drone attacks on targets all over the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. However, the Pakistani Taliban still operates there. To this day it is estimated that 15 U.S. soldiers were killed while fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants in Pakistan since the War on Terror began.

A Mighty Heart (film)

A Mighty Heartfilm2007 film
Asra Nomani—a colleague of Daniel Pearl who had agreed to participate in the film—stated that the film failed to portray Pearl as a journalist, doing his job, in favor of creating a dramatic arc of "ordinary heroes". She believes Pearl would have "rolled his eyes" at that description. Describing her own response to the film, Nomani said, "For me, watching the movie was like having people enter my home, rearrange the furniture and reprogram my memory." The announcement of the casting of Angelina Jolie in the role of Mariane Pearl drew criticism within the African-American community.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street JournalWSJWall St. Journal
It was during this coverage that terrorists kidnapped and killed Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. In 2007, the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, with its iconic Gold Medal, for exposing companies that illegally backdate stock options they awarded executives to increase their value. Kate Kelly wrote a three-part series that detailed events that led to the collapse of Bear Stearns. A report published on September 30, 2010, detailing allegations McDonald's had plans to drop health coverage for hourly employees drew criticism from McDonald's as well as the Obama administration.

A Mighty Heart

memoirmemoir of the same name
A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband Daniel Pearl (also subtitled A Mighty Heart: The Inside Story of the Al Qaeda Kidnapping of Danny Pearl) (2003) is a memoir by Mariane Pearl, a freelance French journalist. She covers the 2002 kidnapping and murder by terrorists in Pakistan of her late husband Daniel Pearl, an American journalist with the Wall Street Journal. The book was reviewed by, among others, The Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Spectator and The New York Review of Books.