Pakistan's Supreme Court has ruled that four men convicted of kidnapping and murdering American journalist Daniel Pearl should go free, a move described by the White House as an "affront to terrorism victims everywhere."

Pearl was working as the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal in 2002 when he was kidnapped in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, while reporting on Richard Reid, the British terrorist known as the "shoe bomber."

The high profile abduction drew international attention amid growing concern over the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism.

Assailants later filmed Pearl's beheading and sent it to United States officials. It was among the first propaganda videos targeting hostages created by extremists, and helped to inspire other terror groups to film horrific and egregious acts of violence.

Read more: CNN