This video's sound is way off after a while. It was this way from the source. The visual quality is also as found. I've trimmed it down for time.
Nick Berg’s beheading was the second video of this kind, but the first from Iraq. It garnered international attention and even some controversy. (More on that in a minute.)
Nick Berg was 26-year-old American who had gone to Iraq to help them rebuild. He owned a company in Pennsylvania that inspected and built communications towers. He first arrived in Iraq in late December of 2003, where he tried to secure work for his company. While there, he visited the city of Mosul to visit a man who had been married to his late aunt.
When he returned from his trip to Mosul in mid-March of 2004, he found that the work that he’d thought he’d secured was now unavailable. He planned to return home later that month.
Sometime in March of 2004, he was purportedly detained by Iraqi police and turned over to U.S. officials and held without legal counsel for 13 days.
In April of 2004, his family filed suit in Philadelphia federal court. It was their argument that he was being held illegally. He was released soon thereafter.
The U.S. claims that it was Iraqi forces that had Berg detained and that they never held him. Nick Berg’s family had a letter from the U.S. consul claiming differently. Regardless of who held him, he was released in early April 6th of 2004 and advised to get on a plane home. It’s alleged that he refused and went from Mosul to Baghdad.
His last outside contact with anyone was April 10, 2004. On May 8, 2004, his body was found by a U.S. military patrol. He had been decapitated.
A week later, the video surfaced on the World Wide Web. It was housed on a militant web site for Muntada al-Ansar, associated with al-Qaeda. It is claimed that Abu Musa'b al-Zarqawi, also associated with al-Qaeda, beheaded Berg himself.
The video starts with Berg sitting with his legs in front of him and bent slightly, his ankles bound and his hands tied behind his back. Behind him stand 5 men with their identities hidden by face coverings.
His executioner reads on and on from a prepared statement for four minutes and 27 seconds. At the 4:28 mark, it seems the editing (at the very least) is “off,” because we start to hear things such as cheering and chanting with the five men not seeming to be uttering a sound, judging from their lack of body language.
Shortly thereafter, at the 4:35 mark, the man in the center pulls a long knife from a sheath that is a part of his soft body armor. He then grabs Berg’s hair and lays him down partially on his left side and partially on his front, as he starts to slice through his neck.
The entire time, you can hear Nick Berg’s pain and the chants of “Allahu ackbar” emanate from the scene. At around the 5:00 mark, Berg ceases to show signs of struggle as he presumably and quite understandably loses consciousness.
The beheading reaches completion at the 5:17 mark when his now-severed head is held up for the camera by its hair. After about 10 seconds, the camera switches to a scene where his disembodied head sits atop his back; his face expressionless and frozen in death. Then a brief shot of his now-headless neck. The video ends at 5:36.