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October 03, 2003 - Image 102

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-03

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Arts & Life

On The Bookshelf

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from page 81

"There was one part of his biogra-
phy that was close to mine," he
added. "Omar claims to have become
a radical Muslim as a reaction to the
international passivity to the atroci-
ties committed against Muslims in
the Bosnian war. I remember having
been myself so shocked and angry
after this same thing.
"In a way, my road and his road
were close for a moment and there
was a time we could have met. But
we each chose a road after that, and
mine was toward humanism while his
was going toward the worst."
In fact, Levy puts forth evidence to
prove that Saeed was much more
than he seemed to be. "Omar Sheikh
was not just a little jihadist deciding
to get his Warholian quarter of an
hour," he said.
In the book, Levy wrote, "Daniel
Pearl's killer is not just linked to al-
Qaeda. He is not one of the innu-
merable Muslims around the world
in a vague allegiance to it. He is the
`favored son' of its Chief. ... He is a
crucial character in the arm-
wrestling match that the new barbar-
ians have started against the democ-
racies of the world."
The investigation was not just a
matter of doing interviews. Levy
retraced Pearl's footsteps, spoke to
many of the same sources and was
forced into making some of the same
risky decisions. Being a journalist and
a Jew as well, Levy faced significant
danger on his trip to the little hotel
that served as informal headquarters
of the ISI, where Pearl first met with
Mr. Saeed, or when he got the chance
to visit the "Mosque of the Taliban"
in Karachi.

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Brave Life and Death of My
Husband, Danny Pearl (Scribner;
.
$25), was asked if she agrees with
Bernard-Henri Levy's theory that
her husband was killed because he
was close to uncovering serious
links between elements of the
Pakistani government and terror-
ists in al-Queda.
"I want to be careful here
because these are just theories,"
she replied. "But of the involve-
ment of the [Pakistani intelligence
service] ISI in supporting terror-
ists, there is no doubt."

As the investigation progressed, he
began receiving strange phone calls
and visits — one from a supposed
journalist for a jihadist paper, who
didn't know how to use his tape
recorder, but ominously beseeched
Levy to go with him to another loca-
tion in order to find out more about
the case.
In the end, while he found no
irrefutable smoking gun, Levy's dili-
gent speculation and the accumula-
tion of facts and evidence provide
many credible, striking theories. As
for what will happen to Saeed and
the three others convicted of the
murder, Levy stated that "the trial of
Omar was a joke. I think there was
a deal between Omar and the men
who controlled the ISI at the time
of Omar's arrest, saying, 'We'll
arrest you, and then we'll let you
out soon.'"
He cited Saeed's arrogance even
after he was sentenced to death, when
he promised he would only serve
three or four years in jail before he
would be released. The case is now
under appeal.
"Will this really happen? I don't
know," Levy said. "This is in your,
my, our power, to prevent that. We
have to put this country under strong
watch. We have to be vigilant. It will
happen in the darkness if we forget
Pakistan — if we leave them alone to
their little affairs, they will liberate
him. If we keep the lights on in the
theater, it will be more difficult. This
is our responsibility."



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