Accessibility links

Islamist Website Shows Captive's Beheading - 2004-05-11

Islamic militants say they have executed an American in Iraq in retaliation for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. A website that in the past has carried statements and tapes from al-Qaida posted video of a man being beheaded, just hours after the U.S. military said an American civilian had been found dead in Baghdad. In Washington, Correspondent Nick Simeone has the latest.

Five men wearing black clothing, their faces covered with ski masks, read a statement in Arabic before a man identifying himself as Nick Berg is beheaded. U.S. officials say the body of a private American civilian with the same name was found in Baghdad, with a White House spokesman saying those responsible will be brought to justice.

The unidentified men in the video called the on-camera execution retaliation for the abuse of Iraqis by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison, which has provoked anger throughout the Arab world and was the focus of another Congressional hearing Tuesday. Antonio Taguba, the Army general who wrote a report looking into the abuses, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee what happened was the result of a rampant failure of leadership ?from the brigade commander on down, lack of discipline, no training whatsoever and no supervision.?

The hearing was held a day after President Bush strongly defended Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who some key Democrats say should resign over the prison abuse scandal.