ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian militant recently appointed interim leader of al Qaeda operations, has been linked to the killing of US journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002, US investigators said in a report. A Wall Street Journal reporter, Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi in January 2002 while researching a story on militants, and was later beheaded. The findings by investigators of the Pearl Project revealed al-Adel had discussed Pearls abduction with Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, also known as KSM, the accused mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. KSM told the FBI that he was pulled into the kidnapping by a high-level leader in al Qaeda circles, an Egyptian named Saif al-Adel, who told him to make the kidnapping an al Qaeda operation, said the investigators in their report which was published in January.