11 May 2004 -- A video clip posted today on an Islamic militant website showed a group believed to be linked with Al-Qaeda beheading an American who was taken hostage in Iraq last month.
A man identified himself as Nicholas Berg, 26, was shown sitting bound in front of five masked men. One man read a statement in Arabic saying that "blood and souls" could repay the humiliation suffered by Iraqi prisoners at the hands of U.S. military personnel at the Abu Ghurayb prison outside of Baghdad.
After the statement was read they pushed the bound man to the floor, slowly cutting off his head and then holding it aloft. The group's statement was signed with the name of Zarqawi. The website said Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a close ally of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was the man who cut off Berg's head. Berg's headless body was found on 8 May near a highway outside of Baghdad. He was not in the U.S. military and was not a contractor.