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January 29, 2002
1515 IST

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Breakthrough in WSJ scribe kidnapping case

Pakistan police and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials probing the alleged kidnapping of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl have identified a local Al Qaeda activist, whom the correspondent met before he went missing.

Pearl had a long meeting with Pir Mubarik Ali Shah, an alleged activist of Al Qaeda, at a hotel in Rawalpindi before he went missing.

Heavy contingent of city police along with Sindh police and FBI officials raided the house of Shah and arrested his sister and mother, local daily The News said.

Police believe it was likely that Pearl was kidnapped from Rawalpindi and not from Karachi as was earlier reported, it said.

Police suspect that Shah was the key to the kidnapping, which is claimed by National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistan Sovereignty, as he too went missing after the meeting.

A special contingent of FBI officials is in Pakistan to assist the local police to locate Pearl who along with his wife came to Karachi from Mumbai, to write on Al Qaeda activities.

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