ISIS Claims To Have Beheaded Peter Kassig, American Aid Worker And Former US Army Ranger
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria released a video Sunday the group claims shows the beheading of Peter Kassig, an American aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger.
The 16-minute video, uploaded to an ISIS-affiliated website, shows terrorists beheading a dozen Syrian soldiers, and ends with an ISIS militant standing over a severed head he claims is Kassig’s, The Associated Press reports.
“We say to you, Obama…you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago,” says the terrorist, according to the AP. “Here you are: You have not withdrawn. Rather, you hid some of your forces behind your proxies.”
“To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we will be slaughtering your soldiers,” the terrorist continues, according to Reuters.
“And with Allah’s permission…the Islamic State will soon…begin to slaughter your people in your streets.”
The militant speaks with a London accent similar to one attributed to “Jihadi John” heard in previous videos depicting the gruesome beheadings of two American journalists – James Foley and Steven Sotloff – and two British aid workers – David Haines and Alan Henning. (RELATED: IS Beheads American Journalist On Camera)
“Jihadi John” was reportedly wounded in U.S. airstrikes earlier this week. (RELATED: ISIS Beheads American Journalist Steven Sotloff)
SITE, an intelligence analysis website, reported that the video was produced by the al-Furqan Media Foundation, the terrorist group’s propaganda unit, according to NBC News.
Kassig was killed, the terrorist says in the video, because he “fought against the Muslims in Iraq, while serving as a soldier.”
The 26-year-old Kassig, an Indiana native, served in Iraq in 2007 in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment.
In 2012, Kassig founded a humanitarian non-governmental organization aimed at helping Syrians affected by the country’s ongoing civil war. He reportedly fell into the hands of ISIS after being captured last October. While in captivity, Kassig converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdul-Rahman Kassig. (RELATED: ISIS Beheads British Aid Worker David Haines)
“We are aware of the news reports being circulated about our treasured son and are waiting for confirmation from the government as to the authenticity of these reports,” Kassig’s family said in a statement published to Facebook.
“The family respectfully asks that the news media avoid playing into the hostage takers’ hands and refrain from publishing or broadcasting photographs or video distributed by the hostage takers. 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 U.S. government said it is working to verify the authenticity of the video.
“We are aware of a video that claims to show the murder of U.S. citizen Peter Kassig,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan in a statement. “The intelligence community is working as quickly as possible to determine its authenticity. 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.”