Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 12, 2004

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691


This is in response to numerous press inquires regarding the FBI’s involvement in the Iraqi Police detention of Nicholas Berg. On 5/11/04, a video was posted on an Islamic militant website showing the beheading of Nicholas Berg. The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks standing over a bound man in orange clothing who identified himself as Nicholas Berg. After reading a statement, the masked men were seen pulling Mr. Berg to his side and he was brutally murdered.

On 03/25/04, the U.S. military notified FBI Agents in Iraq that the Iraqi Police had detained a U.S. person in Mosul, Iraq. The U.S. person was identified as Nicholas Evan Berg. Mr. Berg had been detained by Iraqi Police who then notified the U.S. military.

Mr. Berg was interviewed by FBI Agents at an Iraqi Police Station in Mosul, Iraq, while in the custody of the Iraqi Police. Mr. Berg told Agents that he had entered Iraq through Jordan for the purpose of establishing working relationships and to acquire contracts for his business. After a thorough review of records, the FBI relayed to the U.S. military and the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) that no derogatory information was developed about Mr. Berg that would warrant further detention by the Iraqi Police. During interviews with Mr. Berg, FBI Agents and CPA officials emphasized to him the dangerous environment that exists in Iraq, and encouraged him to accept CPA’s offer to facilitate his safe passage out of Iraq. Mr. Berg refused these offers. The CPA coordinated with the Iraqi police for Mr. Berg’s release on 4/6/04. He also refused government offers to advise his family and friends of his status.

On 5/8/04, Mr. Berg’s remains were discovered by the U.S military in north central Baghdad.

FBI Director Robert Mueller and the men and women of the FBI offer their deepest sympathies to the Berg family. The FBI’s Office of Victim Assistance is providing support and assistance to the family.