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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Report:: Nick Berg Was Suspect in Philly Pipe Bombings

By J.M. Berger

WPVI-TV reported that the FBI investigated Nick Berg as a suspect in a series of pipe bombings in suburban Philadelphia. (external link to full story)

Berg was the first victim beheaded on videotape in Iraq by Abu Musab Zarqawi, earlier this year. The story of his life and death provoked much speculation on the Internet and even in the mainstream media, when it was disclosed that Berg had met al Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui in Norman, OK, prior to September 11. (related story, related story)

The New York Times reported shortly after Berg's death that the FBI had asked Berg, who was detained in Iraq before his death, if he knew how to build pipe bombs.

WPVI quoted Berg's father, Michael Berg, as saying:

"The FBI in Iraq asked him if he could make a pipe bomb. And he said, 'Yes he could, of course he never would.' But he certainly was capable of the electronics of it ever since he was a kid."

However, Michael Berg said the FBI had cleared his son of suspicion.

"I asked them the same question. 'Is my son, at this time, suspected of ever having done anything wrong?' Those were my exact words. And they emphatically said, 'No.'"

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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