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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Berg video website shut down
By Jonathan Kent
BBC, Kuala Lumpur

Still from the video
Berg's body was found on a road near Baghdad
The internet website that first posted video footage of an American contractor being beheaded in Iraq has been closed.

The Malaysian server for the site said it took action after the huge numbers of people trying to view the video overloaded its systems.

The company said it had been unaware of the site's contents, but would have acted sooner if it had known.

The graphic images of 26-year-old Nicholas Berg's death prompted shock and outrage the world over.

They also prompted thousands upon thousands of people to log on to the internet so they could see for themselves the entire event in all its horror.

The video was stored on a computer server belonging to a Malaysian web hosting company, Acme Commerce Sendirian Berhad.

The server had been leased to the creators of the site, Al-ansar.biz. They first put the film on the net, and are thought to have links to al-Qaeda.

Acme Commerce's business manager told the BBC that the volume of traffic to that one address was so great that it jammed connections to hundreds of other servers operated by the company.

Though the decision to close the website was a technical one, he said the company would have acted earlier on moral grounds if it had known the site's contents.

He said Acme had no wish to be associated with any group which had possible al-Qaeda connections, or which distributed such gruesome pictures.

Malaysia's opposition leader has called for an investigation into the possibility that the country is hosting what he called a "master network of international terrorist websites".




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