Published — January 20, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Pearl Project analyzed network behind crime with software developed for intelligence agencies


When the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists set out to identify all of the players involved in Daniel Pearl’s kidnapping and murder, it turned to a company – unfamiliar to most Americans but well-known to U.S. intelligence – to help analyze and understand the intricate network of individuals involved in the 2002 crime.

For years, Palantir Technologies has developed software for intelligence and defense agencies to process vast amounts of data and raw intelligence and look for patterns. Palantir volunteered to assist the Pearl Project pro bono, using its analysis software to aggregate the data and research gathered by the reporters and to identify connections among key players in the murder.

One example of the analysis using the software is a “human map” with photos and research about the 27 men identified during the project as playing some role in the Pearl case. You can download the map here.

In addition, the Pearl Project’s lead author, Asra Nomani, narrated three videos about the connections among key players, using the Palantir software to help readers visually follow the complex relationships and events that led to Pearl’s murder. Here are those videos.

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