Remembering Daniel Pearl
Kiko's House has a retrospective on Daniel Pearl's decapitation a half decade ago. But it is not simply Pearl's death which is worth recollecting but the story he died in pursuit of.
It is incidental that Pearl's abductors were not in the mainstream of the Islamic jihad against the West then so very much on people's minds because of the 9/11 attacks three and a half months earlier. Pearl had gone to Pakistan to investigate links between "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, who had been arrested aboard a U.S.-bound jetliner a month earlier, Al Qaeda and the all-powerful ISI – Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence unit.
Danny Pearl was on the right trail.
Four years later, as Carlotta Gall notes in a compelling Sunday New York Times story, there is no question that there are deep ties between Al Qaeda and the ISI, with the re-emergent Taliban playing chaperone.
The recent on post on the relationship between the Surge and Iraqi politics is a further illustration of the blurred line between friend and foe wherever the War on Terror is being fought, not only abroad but perhaps even domestically. This is was probably inevitable. If the world is facing its first networked insurgency it will also see its first networked counterinsurgency. On this new battlefield national borders and perhaps organizational affiliation will count for less than something more difficult to gauge: can I trust you in the context of this situation? Dealing with Iraqi security forces means looking at just more than you counterpart's uniform and rank. Kerbalah may be proof of that. Geting at the al-Qaeda will probably requiring dealing with the ISI in addition to countering it. In this modern wilderness udgment matters. Daniel Pearl had the misfortune to make the wrong call on who to trust. Five years ago.