Nick Berg, a practicing Jewish, 26 year old civilian contractor from Philedelphia, Penn., was brutally murdered by al-Qaeda this weekend. A video tape of the beheading was made available on an al-Qaeda related website. The video showed Mr. Berg saying his name, his family names and where they lived, then a long statement is read by men in masks carrying various Soviet-style rifles. They said in Arabic that this killing was in response to the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison.
Suddenly the masked men let out a scream of 'Allah akbar' and throw Mr. Berg to the ground. Berg's screams mix with those of his captors as one of the men begins to cut through Berg's neck with a large knife. The cut is not easy, the butcher has to saw through, it is unclear how long Berg lived, however, it is clear that his death was painful and grisly. When finally finished, Berg's severed head is held up to the camera.
Considering how many recent captives have been freed, perhaps Berg thought they would let him go. It seems apparent he had no idea that the men holding him were al-Qaeda, or al-Qaeda related. It is thought that one of the men, perhaps the one who actually murdered Berg, is one of al-Qaeda's new top operatives.
Response has been polar... but oddly rageless. One op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Daily is titled "Time To Get The Hell Out", the text of which basically points the finger at President Bush. Even Berg's family seems to blame the US administration... even though their boy willing went to Iraq looking for work. Mr. Berg's reasons for being in Iraq are still unclear. The Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad states they knew he was in Iraq and had suspected that he was engaged in suspicious activity.
Who was Berg working for? What was this young, unemployed, Jewish contractor doing in a war zone in an Arab country?