- LONDON (IslamOnline.net)
- The videotape showing the execution of Nicholas Berg in Iraq has at least
50 anomalies, video experts and computer analysts unveiled.
- The Times reported this week the analysts' suspicions
that Berg could have been working for the American intelligence services
or that the U.S. forces might have faked the video to cover up Berg's death.
- "Take, for example, the suspiciously white that
appears shortly after frame 9,306 of the beheading video. It appears to
belong to a captor wearing an American cap," said the British paper
Sunday, May 23.
- "This is one of at least 50 anomalies now being
pored over by an assortment of video experts, computer analysts and ghoulish
internet surfers," it added.
- A video put on a website reportedly linked to al-Qaeda
shows the beheading of Berg with his executioners saying it came in revenge
for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops.
- Berg arrived in Iraq for the first time in December 2003.
In mid March, he was held by the U.S. military in the northern city of
Mosul for no apparent reason, prompting his father to file a lawsuit in
a federal court in Philadelphia.
- He was released by the Americans on April 6 and disappeared
since April 9 in unknown circumstances, the daily said.
- Guantanamo Chair
- The Times said questions have been raised about the orange
jumpsuit worn by Berg, "which appears similar to those worn by prisoners
at Guantanamo". A reference to the notorious military camp, where
the U.S. was accused of committing human rights violations.
- In the video tape, Berg appeared "sitting on a white
chair similar to the one shown in an image from Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad".
- The prison was the scene of numerous scenes of death
due to torture and abuse as shown in photos splashed by American media
- But, the paper admitted, "no credible evidence has
yet been advanced to the outlandish but inevitable suggestion among conspiracy
theorists that the U.S. forces might have faked a video to cover up Berg's
- The Times underlined that more problematic is the American
government's claims that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, whom the CIA announced that
it believed he is the man who read the statement before beheading Berg.
- "The CIA's insistence that al-Zarqawi was responsible
appears based on the scantiest of evidence," said The Times.
- "Al-Zarqawi is known to have lost one leg, yet there
is now sign on the video of either a prosthesis or any awkward movement."
- "Sound experts have speculated that the voice believed
to be of al-Zarqawi's might have been dubbed on."
- Intelligence Services
- The British newspaper said Berg's alleged past links
to an al-Qaeda cell have raised questions in some quarters as to whether
he might have been working for the intelligence services.
- It referred to a curious connection provided by Berg's
- The FBI discovered that Zacarias Massoui, a French Moroccan
who was awaiting trial on charges that he would have been one of the September
11 attacks, used Berg's university's e-mail password.
- The Times said: "When Berg was arrested at a roadblock
in Mosul, northern Iraq, last March, his Moussaoui connection provoked
further scrutiny of the password incident".
- The paper said that he was interrogated three times by
the FBI in Mosul before being eventually released.
- A senior Justice Department official admitted it is "unsettling
it seemed that a civilian randomly executed by al-Qaeda should himself
have been investigated for al-Qaeda links".
- However, he insisted, American officials have no doubt
that it was a "total coincidence".
- Plot Thickening
- The plot seemed to thicken when Michael Berg's grief
at his son's murder turned to rage against the U.S. administration.
- Berg had charged that his son's detention in Mosul had
been unlawful, and "had immersed my son in a world of escalated violence
were it not for his detention (he) would have (been) in my arms again".
- On May 19, the father sent a letter to The Stop The War
Coalition in London, saying that U.S. President George W. Bush's "ineffective"
leadership is a "weapon of mass destruction".
- "We are fed up with the lies from our government
about Nick's detention," the father said in the letter, a copy of
which was sent to IslamOnline.net.
- "The improbable sequence of events provoked intense
scrutiny of both the U.S. government's treatment of Berg and the video
that shows his death," said the Times.
- More Anomalies
- The arrest last week of four Iraqis suspected of involvement
in the revenge killing of the 26-year-old civilian adventurer had added
to the confusion, the paper said.
- The paper also said that there are numerous discrepancies
in the times stamped on the video frames.
- "While some of the anomalies appear easily explained
by the obvious splicing and editing of the tape, others have excited intense
- Copyright © 1999-2004 Islam Online
- All rights reserved