Nick Berg and Al Qaeda?
Paul at Wizbang has a rather disturbing report:
A friend called me and told me the AP was going to release a story that Nick Berg was investigated by the FBI 2 years ago because he gave his password for his computer account at his university to terrorist mastermind Zacharias Moussaoui.
There’s no link yet [UPDATE: See below] –the story isn’t out–but Paul has pretty good media connections, so this seems plausible.
In the interview from outside his home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, a seething Michael Berg also said his 26-year-old son, a civilian contractor, probably would have felt positive, even about his executioners, until the last minute.
“I am sure that he only saw the good in his captors until the last second of his life,” Berg said. “They did not know what they were doing. They killed their best friend.”
“I have a written statement from the State Department in Baghdad … saying that my son was being held by the military,” Berg said. “I can also assure you that the FBI came to my house on March 31 and told me that the FBI had him in Mosul in an Iraqi prison.”
Dan Senor, spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority, said this week that Nick Berg was arrested in Mosul by Iraqi police on March 24 and released on April 6.
Senor said the FBI visited Berg three times during his detention by Iraqi police and determined that he was not involved in criminal or terrorist activities. [emphasis mine]
Clearly, there is something odd going on here. On the one hand, the authorities apparently had reason to believe Berg had shady connections. On the other, they saw fit to release him–in a climate where they seem perfectly willing to hold people indefinitely given strong suspicion.
UPDATE: CBS has the story:
Initially, Berg’s murder seemed to be a case of an eccentric young American who was in the wrong place at the worst possible time — just as the revelations of American mistreatment of iraqi prisoners were coming to light.
But CBS News National Security Correspondent David Martin reports on what is turning into a bizarre mystery with a connection to 9/11.
U.S. officials say the FBI questioned Berg in 2002 after a computer password Berg used in college turned up in the possession of Zaccarias Moussaoui, the al Qaeda operative arrested shortly before 9/11 for his suspicious activity at a flight school in Minnesota.
The bureau had already dismissed the connection between Berg and Moussaoui as nothing more than a college student who had been careless about protecting his password.
But in the wake of Berg’s gruesome murder, it becomes a stranger than fiction coincidence — an American who inadvertently gave away his computer password to one notorious al Qaeda operative is later murdered by another notorious al Qaeda operative.
(Via reader e-mail.)