RealNews

Video Appears to Show Beheading of American Civilian

A video being shown on an Islamic militant Web site shows the beheading of an American civilian from Pennsylvania, according to journalists from news agencies and television networks who have seen it. In the tape, which is of poor quality, masked men who claim to have ties to Al Qaeda say the execution is vengeance for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. American officials and the man’s family, in West Chester, Pa., identified the slain man as Nicholas Berg, 26, who had gone to Iraq looking for contracting work. In the videotape, part of which was shown on Fox News and MSNBC, the man is shown sitting on the floor with five masked men behind him, and one of the masked men reads a statement. In the portion of the tape that follows, which has not been broadcast in the United States, the masked men push the seated man to the floor, saw off his head as he screams and then hold it aloft, according to Reuters. The video is titled “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American.” It was unclear whether Mr. Zarqawi — a Jordanian militant with ties to Al Qaeda — was personally in the video or was taking responsibility for ordering the execution. American military officials have said they believe Mr. Zarqawi is behind many of the attacks in Iraq against coalition forces and Iraqi civilians.Full Story

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