Arrests in Berg Case

Four arrested over beheading of US businessman in Iraq

Four people have been arrested over the beheading of US businessman Nicholas Berg, whose killing was shown earlier this month in a video on an Al-Qaeda linked website, a senior Iraqi source said.

Asked if more than one person had been arrested in connection with the killing, the source told AFP: “Yes, four people.”

Berg’s beheading was shown on a grainy video posted on the Islamic website linked to Osama bin Laden’s terror network, days after his body was found in Baghdad on May 8.

“We have made good progress,” the source added, referring to the investigation, but declined to give any details on the identity of the four people held in detention.

But it was understood that none of the four included Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, who US authorities believe carried out the killing of the 26-year-old who was in Iraq to drum up business for his small telecommunications company.

The tape of Berg’s killing was entitled “Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi slaughtering an American”, referring to the Jordanian militant, linked to Al-Qaeda and wanted over a string of attacks in Iraq.

The video showed Berg’s decapitation by one of five masked men. Iraqi sources would not say whether any of the four suspects in custody were among them, or whether the detainees were linked to the case in another way.

Berg’s captors said his killing was revenge for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the hands of US troops, which shocked the world and undermined Washington’s claim to be the liberators of Iraq.

The slain Jewish American was buried Friday in a private ceremony near his Pennsylvania home.

His family have blamed his death on US President George W. Bush’s administration.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft has vowed to keep up the hunt for the killers who made a video.

One would hope every effort is being made to get al-Zarqawi.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Jeff Lawson says:

    Someone stole old Banyon’s pig. Blame it on Zarqawi !
    Pinched my cart and horse and rig. Blame it on Zarqawi !
    Someone robbed the Sydney mail, sacked the jailer and put him in jail,
    and if the potato crop should fail – they’ll blame it on Zarqawi.

    Blame it on Zarqawi, boys, blame it on Zarqawi,
    shame, shame upon the name, blame it on – Zarqawi.

    If anybody steals a horse, blame it on Zarqawi !
    Anybody breaks the law, blame it on Zarqawi !
    If anyone does something new, or does what you would like to do,
    and if the troopers don’t know who – they’ll blame it on Zarqawi.

    Blame it on Zarqawi, boys, blame it on Zarqawi,
    shame, shame upon the name, blame it on – Zarqawi.

    He’s posted up on every wall. Blame it on Zarqawi !
    There’s no crime too great or small, to blame it on Zarqawi !
    He killed a thousand so they tell,
    you know he’s bound to burn in hell,

    I think I’ll steal a horse myself – and blame it on Zarqawi.