Suspected of American journalist's kidnap-slaying reportedly captured

The man suspected of being involved in kidnapping and slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was arrested Wednesday in a bus terminal, Pakistani officials said.

Pearl was abducted Jan. 23, 2002, and later beheaded in the southern city of Karachi - believed to be a hotbed for Islamic militants - while he was researching a story, the AP reports.

Hashim Qadeer, listed among Pakistan's most wanted men in 2003, was captured in the eastern city of Gujranwala after being under police surveillance for three days, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Qadeer said he was headed to Rawalpindi, where he planned to take another bus to Pakistan's portion of the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, one police official in Lahore said.

Judge Azmatullah Awan granted police permission to hold Qadeer without a charge for two days to question him, according to a second police official in Lahore.

Qadeer is believed to have arranged a meeting between Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Pearl at a hotel in Rawalpindi, a city near the capital Islamabad, a Karachi-based intelligence official said.

The police officials and the intelligence official spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to make statements to the media.

On Thursday, Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said security agencies had captured a suspected militant in Gujranwala, but he refused to confirm or deny whether the militant was linked to the Pearl case.

On the photo: Daniel Pearl

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