Al-Qaeda Claims To Behead American — On Video
CAIRO, Egypt – A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq, and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.
The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit — similar to a prisoner’s uniform — who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. contractor whose body was found on a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday.
“My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Susan,” the man said on the video. “I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in … Philadelphia.”
After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting “Allahu Akbar!” — “God is great.” They then held the head out before the camera.
Berg was a small-business owner from the Philadelphia suburbs, his family said Tuesday.
Berg’s family said they knew their son had been decapitated, but didn’t know the details of the killing. When told of the video by an Associated Press reporter, Berg’s father, Michael, and his two siblings hugged and cried.
Note that there is no confirmation yet if the victim on the tape really was Berg — though his parents confirm that he had been killed by beheading before the tape surfaced.