Did Nick Berg Know a 9/11 Suspect?

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, May 13, 2004 that has been edited for clarity.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST:  Tonight: Did murdered American Nick Berg (search) know a 9/11suspect?  Fox's David Lee Miller is on the ground in Baghdad with the breaking developments -- David.

DAVID LEE MILLER, FOX CORRESPONDENT:  Greta, as authorities continue to search nowfor Nick Berg's killers, more questions are being raised about his past, including what appears to be now anincredible coincidence connecting him to a terrorism suspect.  Now, sources that are close to the situationsay that several years ago, Berg was interviewed by the FBI regarding 9/11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui.According to sources, the FBI concluded that Berg, while a student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, innocently allowed a friend or acquaintance to use his personal e-mail account.  Eventually, itended up being given to a few more people, including Moussaoui, who, by the way, attended flight schoolin Norman.

Now, Berg's father says his son was cleared of any wrongdoing, but he also has a different versionof why his son was questioned.  David Berg says that his son met the terror suspect on a bus while the twowere riding to class and allowed the suspect to use his computer.  And according to a published report todayin "The Philadelphia Daily News," a colleague of Berg's said he became friendly with Arabs or Muslims while a student and that there was -- and I quote -- "some type of identity mix-up or ID or e-mail mix-up."The colleague told the paper he had been spoken to by some prominent officials.

What we can tell you tonight with some more certainty is a lieutenant of Usama bin Laden, AbuMusaab Zarqawi, was the masked man who executed Berg on that gruesome videotape.  The Web site claims Zarqawi was the executioner, and now intelligence officials say technical analysis of the video backsup that horrific claim.  A CIA official says there is a "high degree of probability" -- that's a quote -- that the voice on the tape is Zarqawi's.

And also, there's a report now, Greta, that the Web site that actually posted that video has been shut down.  This according to a company called Acme Commerce out of Malaysia that actually hosted this Web site.  They say there was such a demand for traffic that it had to be shut down because there was not enough bandwidth.  The company also says that they have notified Malaysian police to look into who ownsthis Web site, although they will not release that company's name.  But this company does state that it has a policy against hosting any Web site that would include obscene, pornographic or offensive material --Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  David Lee, you had a big visitor today in Baghdad, the secretary of defense.How did that go for the troops?

MILLER:  Not only was he a big visitor, but he was a surprise visitor here.  Very few people,except for the upper echelon, knew that he was coming, and there was a real morale boost for the troops.The first place, or one of the first places the secretary went to was the Abu Ghraib prison, and there he tooka tour of the prison with its new commander.  The new commander let him tour some of the new facilitieswhere some of the detainees will be moving to in just a few weeks' time.

Later, he spoke to the troops here in Baghdad.  And jokingly, he did tell them, Greta, that he hasstopped reading the newspapers.  He said that it's the only way to keep his sanity -- Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And of course -- and of course, he still -- hopefully, he still watches TV.  Butanyway, David, thank you very much.

And tonight, curious details are emerging about Nick Berg.  Will Bunch, senior writer for "The Philadelphia Daily News," joins us with the details.  Will, can you give us any more information on this Moussaoui-Nick Berg connection?

WILLIAM BUNCH, "PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS":  Well, yes.  Hi, Greta. Thanks forhaving me on.  As we reported this morning, it does seem to be an amazing coincidence.  But as his familyand friends confirm, and also sources involved are familiar with his interrogation in Mosul when he was arrested, Nick Berg had some contact with Arabs while he was a student in the year 2000 at the University of Oklahoma.  Now, there's some questions about what that contact was, but according to his friends and family, it involved people getting his e-mail account number or somehow getting his identity.  And there are reports, which would make sense, given the timing, that the person involved was Zacarias Moussaoui, the admitted member of Al Qaeda who came here to learn how to fly and how to hijack an airplane.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Will, why was he even at the University of Oklahoma?  It seems a little bitunusual.  He started school at two -- Ivy League -- he was at Cornell, spent some time at Penn.  Why did hesuddenly go across country to Oklahoma?

BUNCH:  Well, Nick Berg was a very unusual young man.  And he was -- I mean he was very idealistic and he was very eccentric.  And college seemed to be -- I don't want to say a problem, he was a very bright young man, but he did have trouble staying in school, staying in class.  He wanted to get out and experience the world and he wanted to travel.  And he went to several different schools.  And we're notexactly sure how he found the University of Oklahoma, but that fits in with the pattern of his life.

VAN SUSTEREN:  All right.  When he was picked up by the Iraqis in April or late March of thisyear, he had some things in his possession.  What were they?

BUNCH:  Well, he had the usual things -- a passport, money, a laptop computer.  But two thingsseemed to set off some bells and whistles.  One was a copy of the Quran. And as we all know, Nick Berg, you know, was Jewish.  He also had something that the authorities described as, quote, "anti-Semitic"literature.  Now, this is totally out of character.  You know, Nick Berg was a practicing, religious Jew.  Andbased on some reports, it's possible that this is material either in Farsi (search), which is the Iranian language, or in Arabic, that he may have somehow picked up in his travels through the countryside.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Did he speak another language besides English?  Did he speak Arabic orFarsi?

BUNCH:  He did speak some Arabic.  Apparently, he was not -- he was not a great Arabic speaker,but he spoke some Arabic and was trying to learn more of the language while he was there.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Where did he pick that up?  I mean, because he's a young man and he had lived in the United States, except for his travels in Africa.  Where did he pick up Arabic?

BUNCH:  Well, he was an incredibly bright man and, you know, very studious.  And we're notreally clear on when he would have started learning this.  This was his second trip to Iraq.  He went inJanuary and February, and so he had been in the country for several months.  And presumably, he wasstudying and picking up Arabic all through that time.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Well, that's a quick study.  Of course, maybe he's better at languages than Iever was.  Will, thank you.

BUNCH:  Thanks, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Tonight: The CIA says it's highly probable Nick Berg was decapitated by the knife-wielding top al Qaeda chief Abu Musaab al Zarqawi (search).

Fox News foreign affairs analyst Mansoor Ijaz joins us from New York. Mansoor, the fact that Nick Berg is Jewish -- does that have any bearing, do you think, on the fact he was selected for this execution, or do you think this was simply fortuitous, his bad fortune to run into him?

MANSOOR IJAZ, FOX NEWS FOREIGN AFFAIRS ANALYST:  No, I think the fact that hewas Jewish played a big role in this.  There's no question that these sadistic type of people have a great interest in trying to -- any time they have the opportunity, to Jewish people.  Let's not forget Daniel Pearl was Jewish, as well.  And so they were a prime target for that reason, no question.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Mansoor, you know, they seemed to act so bold, executing someone on videotape and sending it around the world and sending all these audio messages.  Yet they hide behind these hoods.  You know, what's with that?  I mean, he must know that we know who he is, that we can tell by thevoice and do pretty sophisticated tests to determine that, indeed, Zarqawi.

IJAZ:  Yes, but there's a more important reason for them to do what they're doing, in their minds. And that is, if you remember, you'll have at least four or five different types of photographs.  I don't know ifwe have them all up on the screen for us to look at.  But if you look at Abu Musaab Zarqawi at differenttimes of his life or in different frameworks -- growing a beard, not with a beard, bald head, not with a baldhead, et cetera -- they have a great interest in making sure that they hide their physical identity at thismoment in time because he needed to be able to do this.

Let's not forget that the reason that Musaab Zarqawi did what he did is because he wanted to notonly challenge the al Qaeda leadership to take those types of steps, you know, commit heinous crimes, if you will, but he also created a recruiting video.  And the reason that recruiting video is so important is because they're not able to send their own people out from Afghanistan or the Middle Eastern countries, and so forth, to Western countries anymore because we've more or less blocked all of that off.  What they're doing now is recruiting citizens of those countries who are of the Islamic -- radicalized Islamic faith, andthat's why they need this type of recruiting video.  And they don't need to be seen so we can go and findthem and pick them up.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Except that it's very easy to distinguish him.  For instance, he's missing a leg,which, of course -- even if he has a prosthesis, it still is going to be, you know, relatively...

IJAZ:  Well, you got to catch him first, though.  That's the problem.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And indeed, we're looking for him. All right, last night you said that Iran, you believe, in your opinion, that Iran is funding Zarqawi.  What can -- what would you recommend that we do to sort of cut off that financing?  Because that certainly would be one big step to strangling him.

IJAZ:  Yes.  Well, let's first say this, and that is that every person watching this program tonight, please, I implore you to get in touch with your congressmen and your senators and ask them one question: How is it that all of these people fighting our American men and women in the armed forces in Fallujah, inKarbala and all these other places where these firefights are going on, and so forth, are able to feed their families at night and still go out and do nothing but create hell for us all day long?  Somebody's paying these people, and it is not, you know, Mr. al Sistani or Mr. al Sadr or any of these types of people.  That money's coming from somewhere else.

My judgment is that that money primarily is coming from Iran.  It could also be coming from Syria.  It could be counterfeit money, in some cases, and so forth.  And what we have to do to stop that nowis put the Iranian government on notice that we know.  Intercept -- we know how those things are coming across.  We know which convoys are coming across, and so forth. Intercept one of them, prove to the worldthat that's what these guys are doing and then confront that government openly, so that we can create international pressure on what it is that they need to do to stop that.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And of course, President Bush just recently signed sanctions against Syria...

IJAZ:  Correct.

VAN SUSTEREN:  ... in an effort to stem Syria's sponsoring of terrorism.  All right, let's talkabout this e-mail, this Moussaoui use of Nick Berg's e-mail. Coincidence, in your mind?

IJAZ:  No.  This is part of their effort to redirect, misdirect and in any way shape or form take advantage of people that they thought they would be able to, you know, hide behind and camouflage themselves with because Nick Berg had a Jewish name.  It was a very -- I mean, frankly, from thestandpoint of constructing the network, they did exactly what they probably should have to keep themselves hidden.

VAN SUSTEREN:  Mansoor, do you have any question in your mind whether or not Nick Bergmay have mistakenly hooked up with this -- with Zarqawi?  Not that he himself was a terrorist, but if he hadsome contact with Moussaoui in the United States, that for some reason, he might have foolishly thought that he should make some contact with these people?

IJAZ:  It's conceivable that he may have had some other motive.  You know, we don't always know what these guys' motives are.  We -- you know, when Daniel Pearl went to that part of the world, you know, people didn't fully understand the kind of story that he was working on, even though he was a journalist.The fact of the matter, though, is that I think this was more of a coincidence than anything else, but it showsyou precisely how sophisticated these guys' minds are to think that long-term ahead how to use andcamouflage themselves with people in the United States, with the Jewish name, with the background, and soon and so forth.

VAN SUSTEREN:  And of course, underlining the cruelty, as well. Mansoor, thank you.

IJAZ:  Good to be with you.

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