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Family blames US

Last updated: 2004-05-14

Nick Berg

Nick Berg

The Central Intelligence Agency says it believes Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a leading terror suspect, is the person seen on a videotape beheading American Nick Berg.

A video made public on Tuesday shows a man cutting off Mr. Berg's head with a knife.

Mr. Berg, a civilian who fixed radio towers, twice went to Iraq early this year looking for work. Iraqi police arrested him on March 24th in the northern city of Mosul. Mr. Berg was held in Mosul until early April and his family says it last heard from him on April 9th.

U.S. officials say Mr. Berg remained solely in police custody during that period. But Mr. Berg's family says police turned him over to U.S. authorities.

On Thursday, relatives gave the Associated Press copies of what they say were e-mails from a U.S. diplomat in Iraq, confirming Nick Berg's detention there by U.S. forces.

The family blames American authorities for indirectly causing Mr. Berg's death by keeping him in Iraq past his planned departure date.

On Wednesday, the FBI said Mr. Berg had refused offers to help him leave the country.

The reasons for Mr. Berg's alleged detention by U.S. forces are not clear. But Mr. Berg's family says the FBI had questioned him about a contact he had had with a terrorism suspect in 1999, while a student.

Story supplied by: VOAnews