Curioser and curiouser. From NewsMax, with thanks to Joel:
Nick Berg had a bit of a strange run the last few years, starting with the “coincidental” usage of his e-mail account by the alleged 20th 9/11 hijacker and ending with his beheading at the hands of terrorists in Iraq.
He is described by various news agencies as a techno genius, a dreamer, a wanderer, a funnyman and the ultimate Curious George.
Today, Philly.com revealed another item about Berg: “Berg’s stubborn wanderlust made him a target of suspicion – a religious Jew riding around Mosul in a taxi with a copy of the Koran. … Some U.S. soldiers even wondered if the patriotic Berg was ‘a wannabe freedom fighter.'”
So, what was he doing in Iraq? A friend told Fox News he thought Berg was “sailing in Turkey.” (Sure … if we were to go sailing, that’s the place we’d choose as well.)
When Berg was arrested in Mosul, he had two items with him that made authorities nervous: a copy of the Koran and another book reportedly entitled either “The Jewish Problem” or “The Jewish Solution.” Why a Jew would be carrying these items is unclear, but Berg supporters say it was like him to be curious about such things.
Berg also refused to leave Iraq when asked to do so by the State Department.
He not only apparently felt the need to help rebuild Iraq, but he also wanted to go into business doing so. He told jailers that he was losing thousands of dollars while being detained.
He had worked in Africa (Uganda) and had a relative living in Mosul, so that’s where he went in Iraq. He was arrested only because he was an unaccompanied American in a place where that was highly unusual.
A military source in Iraq told the Philadelphia Daily News, “He was jailed because unescorted Americans aren’t usually seen downtown and ‘they didn’t know what to do with him.’
“Police were suspicious because of ‘his demeanor'” and the two books he carried.
Berg was, according to the paper, “under Iraqi control … the FBI also questioned Berg three times and visited his parents back in West Chester.”
Authorities tried to tell Berg to go home and offered to pay for everything, but he told them: “You don’t understand these people like I do. You’re here for a reason – and so am I.”
On April 6, Berg was released from jail, and three days later he disappeared.