Graphic IS video claims US aid worker beheaded

This undated file photo provided by the Kassig Family shows Peter Kassig standing in front of a truck filled with supplies for Syrian refugees. A new graphic video purportedly produced by Islamic State militants in Syria released Sunday Nov. 16, 2014 claims U.S. aid worker Kassig was beheaded.  

The Islamic State group released a graphic video Sunday in which a black—clad militant claims to have beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, who was captured last year.

The militant was standing over a severed head, but it was not immediately possible to confirm that Kassig, 26, was pictured in the video. Family representatives were not immediately available for comment.

The video, which was posted on websites used by the group in the past, appeared to be the latest in a series of grisly messages to the U.S. warning of further brutality if it does not abandon its air campaign in Iraq and Syria.

“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,” the militant says near the end of the nearly 16—minute video. He speaks in an audible British accent despite his voice being distorted to make it more difficult to identify him.

The video also shows what appears to be the mass beheading of several Syrian soldiers captured by the group. The militants warn that U.S. soldiers will meet a similar fate.

Kassig, a U.S. Army Ranger, was providing medical aid to Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war when he was captured inside Syria on Oct. 1, 2013. His friends say he converted to Islam in captivity and took the first name Abdul—Rahman.

The video identifies the militant’s location as Dabiq, a small town in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, near the Turkish border.

Previous videos have shown the beheading of two American journalists and two British aid workers. The latest video did not show the person identified as Kassig being beheaded.

Kassig formed the aid organization Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, in Turkey to provide aid and assistance to Syrian refugees. He began delivering food and medical supplies to Syrian refugee camps in 2012 and is also a trained medical assistant who provided trauma care to injured Syrian civilians and helped train 150 civilians in providing medical aid.

The militant Islamic State group has beheaded and shot dead hundreds of captives —— mainly Syrian and Iraqi soldiers —— during its sweep across the two countries, and has celebrated mass killings in a series of slickly produced but extremely graphic videos.

The group has declared an Islamic caliphate in the areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, which it governs according to a harsh version of Shariah law.

The U.S. began launching air strikes in Iraq and Syria earlier this year in a bid to halt the group’s rapid advance and eventually degrade and destroy it.

IS actions trigger international fury

Australian combat jets were pulled out of a potential strike on a moving Islamic State (IS) target in Iraq because of concerns that civilians could be killed, the defence ministry said. >Read here

A video showing American journalist James Foley being beheaded was released on August 19, as a five-minute clip titled “A Message to America”. The group threatened to kill another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, if President Obama did not halt his air strikes in Iraq. >Read here

Senior While House Counterterrorism official Lisa Monaco said the rescue attempt undertaken by the Obama government “earlier this summer” ultimately failed because the hostages were not present at the location. >Read here

A video showing IS beheading U.S. reporter Steven Sotloff was released on September 2, exactly two weeks after they disseminated on the Internet a similar gruesome video depicting the killing of another American journalist, James Foley. >Read here

Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. would hold accountable those who murdered their citizens, “no matter how long it takes.” >Read here

The US President emphasised that Washington will take the lead in a "broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat." >Read here

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 5:56:06 AM |

Next Story