ISIS Releases Execution Video of U.S. Veteran, Aid Worker Peter Kassig
November 16, 2014 9:18am PST
Peter Kassig, the American aid worker featured in numerous Islamic State propaganda videos, has reportedly been killed. A video showing the aftermath of his gruesome execution was released by the terrorist organization on social media. Kassig disappeared one year ago at a checkpoint in northern Syria, where he was delivering medical supplies.
This new footage, which the New York Times reports has not been independently verified, is significantly different from previous beheading videos released by ISIS. It does not show the actual execution, but purports to prove Kassig is dead, as a masked terrorist stands over a severed head, which ISIS claims belongs to the deceased. Kassig was also not forced to deliver a final message, like James Foley and Steven Sotloff.
Jihadi John, who appeared in the execution videos of other hostages, delivers a chilling message:
“This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country. Peter, who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier under the American Army doesn’t have much to say. His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf. But we say to you, Obama, you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you are liars.”
The National Security Council is working “as quickly as possible” as to determine the authenticity of the footage. Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said, “If confirmed, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American aid worker and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Kassig’s parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, requested that the media not use the graphic footage of their son. “We prefer our son is written about and remembered for his important work and the love he shared with friends and family, not in the manner the hostage takers would use to manipulate Americans and further their cause,” the couple said via their Facebook page.
Kassig ran a small aid group dedicated to helping victims of the Syrian civil war. He was abducted on Oct. 1, 2013, on his way to Deir al-Zour, Syria. Held hostage along with ISIS victims Foley and Sotloff, Kassig was repeatedly tortured.
The aid worker was also a veteran of the Iraq war. A fellow captive from Britain, who was released after his government paid a ransom for him, described the moment ISIS discovered Kassig was a soldier. “One day, the guards burst in, and they said, ‘Peter?’ And he said, ‘Yes, sir.’ And then the guard said, ‘Are you a soldier?’” recalled the former captive, speaking on condition of anonymity, out of concern for his safety. After a brief pause, Kassig replied, “Yes, sir.”
Under duress, Kassig converted to Islam, taking the name Abdul-Rahman. He wrote in a letter to his parents, smuggled out by one of his cellmates who was released, “In terms of my faith, I pray everyday and I am not angry about my situation in that sense. I am in a dogmatically complicated situation here, but I am at peace with my belief.”
Peter Kassig selflessly worked to help those who could not help themselves. His untimely death is a tragic reminder that the Islamic State must be stopped. They will go to any lengths to impart radical Islam on the world, and so we must go to any length to wipe them from the face of the earth. Show the family of Peter Kassig your support in the comments section.
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