ISIS Beheads U.S. Aid Worker
[su_right_ad]A video released by ISIS purports to show beheadings of a dozen Syrian soldiers and then a claim that U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig was also beheaded.
The video ends with the militant standing over a severed head he says belongs to Kassig. U.S. officials said they were working to determine the video’s authenticity. Kassig’s family said it was awaiting the outcome of the investigation.
“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 family said in a statement.
The Associated Press could not independently verify the footage, though it appeared on websites used in the past by the Islamic State group, which now controls a third of Syria and Iraq…
Later, the militant claims Kassig was killed because he “fought against the Muslims in Iraq, while serving as a soldier.” Kassig, from Indianapolis, Indiana, served in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit, and deployed to Iraq in 2007.
After being medically discharged, Kassig formed the aid organization Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, in Turkey to aid Syrian refugees. He began delivering food and medical supplies to Syrian refugee camps in 2012 and provided trauma care to wounded Syrian civilians. Friends say he converted to Islam in captivity and took the first name Abdul-Rahman.
Burhan Agha, a Syrian friend who worked with Kassig in Lebanon and who moved to Switzerland seeking asylum, wept when recounting his generosity Sunday.
“If I could apologize to each American, one by one, I would, because Peter died in Syria, while he was helping the Syrian people,” Agha told the AP by telephone. “Those who killed him claimed to have done it in the name of Islam. I am a Muslim and am from Syria. … (His killers) are not Muslims.”[su_csky_ad]