ADL Terms Kidnappers' Charge That Daniel Pearl Is Israeli Spy "Outrageous And Unfounded"
New York, NY, January 30, 2002 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the outrageous and unfounded accusation that journalist Daniel Pearl was working as an undercover agent for Israel, "is the latest manifestation of the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-American rhetoric of Muslim extremists in the Mideast." Pearl's kidnappers made the charge today in a statement sent in an e-mail to Western and Pakistani news organizations.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said the accusation was the latest in a series of attempts by sympathizers of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, "to provoke the United States and to demonize Israel in the same breath."
"Sympathizers of the terrorists continue to use Israel as an excuse for their unprecedented attacks against the United States and, indeed, many voices in the Muslim and Arab world continue to support the absurd notion that Israel had a direct role in the September 11 attacks," Mr. Foxman said. "This is just a continuation of the anti-Israel, anti-American and anti-Jewish rhetoric that continues to find voice even in the mainstream news media."
Pearl, who is Jewish, had been attempting to interview an extremist Muslim cleric when he was abducted in Karachi, Pakistan. The unsigned message sent to news organizations today contained similar phrases as e-mails sent over the weekend by the group claiming to hold Pearl, which has identified itself as the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty.
Police in Pakistan believe that the Muslim cleric, Sheik Mubarak Ali Shah Gilani, may have had a role in the abduction of the Wall Street Journal reporter. Gilani is the head of the militant group Tanzimul Fuqra and founder of Muslims of the Americas (MOA), a virulently anti-Semitic, Islamic extremist group with ties to Al Fuqra, a terrorist organization that has carried out firebombings and murders in the United States.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.