THE LEVANT – Islamic State militants have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig even though he converted to Islam, a video posted on social media shows.
Kassig, 26, was captured on October 1, 2013, by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants on his way to the city of Deir Ezzour in eastern Syria.
After conversion during captivity, Kassig took the name Abdul-Rahman.
The video reportedly shows Jihadi John murdering Kassig. This comes despite earlier reports that the extremist, who has executed other UK and US hostages, was wounded in an airstrike on a top-level extremists’ meeting in Iraq last week.
Islamic State militants first showed him in the video of the beheading of UK aid worker Alan Henning, who shared a prison cell with Kassig. After Jihadi John, an IS executioner with a London accent, killed Henning, he also threatened Kassig would be next.
In the meantime, the UK Foreign Office said it is examining the video’s authenticity.
“We are aware of a further video and are analyzing its contents. If true this is a further disgusting murder,” the spokeswoman told Reuters.
Kassig had served in Iraq in 2007 before becoming a medical technician. In May 2012, he travelled to Beirut, Lebanon where he volunteered in hospitals. He then helped in Palestinian refugee camps,“offering his services as a trauma medic to Syrian refugees wounded in the fighting in Syria.”
He founded his own aid organization, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), a non-governmental group intended to provide relief to Syrian refugees.
His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig from Indiana, had been appealing for their son’s release. They tried to reach the IS leader by writing messages on Twitter.
“We have tried to contact you directly to plea for the life of our only son, Abdul Rahman Kassig, and have not received any response. Please tell us what more we can do so that Abdul Rahman may continue to serve and live his life in accordance with the teachings of Islam,” she wrote on Twitter.
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