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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Top Suspect Arrested in Pearl Case

KARACHI, Pakistan -- Pakistani police arrested their prime suspect in the kidnap of American Daniel Pearl on Tuesday, and said British-born Islamic militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh had told them the reporter is still alive.

Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said Sheikh Omar, as he is commonly known, had been arrested in the eastern city of Lahore and was being brought to Karachi for further questioning.

"During the initial investigation, he said that Pearl is alive and he is in Karachi," said Jamil.

Wall Street Journal reporter Pearl, 38, vanished in Karachi on Jan. 23 as he tried to make contact with Islamic radicals and investigate possible links between alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid and al-Qaida.

Jamil said the arrest had been made by a team of police from the southern province of Sindh who had traveled to eastern Lahore, capital of neighboring Punjab province, to hunt for Sheikh Omar, whom police have accused of masterminding Pearl's kidnap.

Police did not reveal the circumstances of Omar's arrest, but said they had been rounding up his associates and raiding their houses in recent days.

Sheikh Omar was jailed in India in 1994 for allegedly kidnapping four tourists there -- three Britons and one American. He was freed, along with two other prominent Islamic militants, in 1999 in exchange for 155 hostages on an airliner hijacked to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Indian police have accused him of involvement in the transfer of $100,000 to Mohammad Atta, one of the pilots who flew airliners into New York's World Trade Center.