Pearl Appeals 9-11 Fund Rejection

Mariane Pearl, widow of Wall Street reporter Daniel Pearl, haslodged a formal appeal with the September 11 victims’ fund to becompensated for the death of her husband. Pearl, a French citizen,say that her husband as a U.S. citizen was “a victim of theattacks because he was targeted by Islamic extremists.”

Robert Kelner, the widow’s reporter, told the Times,”What’s horribly, painfully obvious is that if Danny Pearl hadcome from any other country in the world, he’d be alive today. Andbecause there is a 9-11 fund which is compensating people for theexact same kind of death, we feel that Danny should be included asa victim in the same class as other victims.”

Pearl filed the appeal after it was denied by the fund threeweeks ago. Special master of the fund, Kenneth Feinberg said hedenied the application because it did not meet the government’sstipulation that victims had to have died in New York, Pennsylvaniaor Washington because of the September 11 attack. “I’m verysympathetic to the inquiry, but the statute is the statute, and Ido not have any discretion,” Feinberg told the Times.

A CNN report stated that Pearl’s application “does raisethe fundamental question as to why 9-11 – and not other terroristattacks or other acts of terror both at home and abroad – arecovered,” Feinberg said. “I think Congress will addressat some point whether the 9-11 compensation fund should be aprecedent for future compensation or whether it is a uniqueresponse to a unique historical event.”

Daniel Pearl was working in Karachi, a city in Pakistan,when he was kidnapped on January 23, 2002. Four Islamic militantshave been convicted for his kidnapping, but a CNN report said thatseven other suspects who allegedly slit the journalist’s throat infront of a video camera have still not been captured. Mariane Pearltold the Times that it has been difficult to maintain herself andher son, Adam, who is 2 years old, since the death of her husband.At the Journal, Daniel Pearl earned about $100,000 a year.

Charlene Talbot, a junior telecommunications management major,said, “I don’t think they owe it to her, but it would be anice thing to do, because her case is unique. If the fund was setup for the families of those victims of 911, then she doesn’tqualify. Again it is a unique situation, but if the fund turns herdown I am sure she would receive funding from elsewhere.”

Stephanie Morse agreed: “It’s a sad situation. I hope sheobtains funding whether it is from the government or a privatesource.” The 911 fund has distributed awards estimated at $1.4million each so far. Feinberg says that about $5 billion would bepaid out in total.