Mariane Pearl drops lawsuit against al Qaeda in NY

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NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) The widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl has dropped a lawsuit against al Qaeda, other radical groups and Pakistan-based Habib Bank Ltd over the abduction, torture and murder of her husband, court records show.

Lawyers on behalf of Mariane Pearl filed the lawsuit in July which sought unspecified damages against ''those terrorists, terrorist organisations and the supporting charitable and banking organizations for the senseless kidnapping, torture and murder of Daniel Pearl.'' A notice of voluntary dismissal was filed late on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan that stated Pearl had decided to dismiss the case.

''The withdrawal was done for personal reasons that had nothing to do with the merits of the lawsuit,'' a spokesperson for Pearl's lawyers Motley Rice told Reuters.

Daniel Pearl was the South Asia bureau chief of the Journal when he was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002 while seeking an interview with suspected Islamist militants. After several days in captivity he was beheaded on video.

Among those sued was Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who was convicted and sentenced to death in a Pakistan court for his role in the abduction and murder.

Also sued was Habib Bank Limited -- one of Pakistan's biggest banks. It was accused of knowingly conducting financial transactions on behalf of charities linked to extremist groups.

REUTERS AE KN2331

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