Computer Crime Research Center


Al-Qaida terror chief beheads American civilian on videotape

Date: May 13, 2004

As informs, a group of men stand over a bound man, who identified himself as Nick Berg, a U. S contrsctor whose body was found in Baghdad on Saturday, in an image taken from a vide posted Tuesday on an lslamic militant Web site affillated with al-Qaida. The man at center holds a knife to the man seated on the ground.

Amnesty International condemned the videotaped beheading in Iraq of American civilian Nick Berg, an act which Prime Minister Tony Blair's office described yesterday as "barbaric." But Iranian radio accused Western media of using the slaying to distract attention from the abuse of prisoners in Iraq.

Images from the film showing Berg and his captors just before the killing dominated TV broadcasts and newspaper front pages in many countries.

A Kuwaiti newspaper ran a picture of one of the killers holding the severed head and some Greek TV stations showed the actual execution, although they obscured the head. The full video was posted on an al-Qaida-linked Web site.

"Such acts are unjustifiable under any circumstances and constitute a serious crime under international law," London-based human rights group Amnesty International said of the slaying. "Those responsible should be brought to justice in line with international standards."

The masked men who killed Berg claimed they were angered by coalition abuses of Iraqi prisoners. The video, posted Tuesday, showed them pushing Berg to the floor, severing his head and holding it up. His body was found near a highway overpass in Baghdad on Saturday, the same day he was beheaded, a U.S. official said.

The video bore the title "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American," referring to an associate of Osama bin Laden believed responsible for a wave of suicide bombings in Iraq.

Blair's official spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, described the killing as "a truly barbaric act," adding: "There is no justification for this kind of act in a civilized world."

In Greece, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said the execution provoked a "sense of abhorrence. ... The Greek government condemns violence wherever it comes from."

Most Greek TV stations aired segments of the video, some stopping just before the beheading while others obscured the head during the execution.

Other broadcasters in Britain, China, Germany, Italy and Belgium showed images of Berg kneeling on the floor with his black-clad captors standing behind him.

Iranian radio accused the western media of showing pictures from the video for propaganda purposes.

"As a result, the issue of Iraqi prisoners' torture has been totally ignored by these media," the Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran said.

The web site on which the video was posted is known as a clearing house for al-Qaida and Islamic extremist groups’ statements and tapes.

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