Washington, Nov 16: The extremist group Islamic State in its latest video released on Sunday, has claimed the beheading of 26-year-old American aid worker Peter Kassig. The 16-minute video shows a masked IS fighter dressed in black standing near a severed head, which he claims to be that of Kassig.
According to reports, the video also shows the mass execution of over a dozen and half captured Syrian troops.
The IS fighter reportedly said: “This is Peter Edward Kassig, a US citizen of your country”, adding “Here, we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.”
Kassig is reportedly the fifth Westerner and third American to be beheaded by the ISIS in less than three months.
The beheading video comes more than a month after the IS released the beheading video of British aid worker Alan Henning in October. At the end of the video, the executioner – supposedly “Jihadi John” – had reportedly threatened to kill Peter Kassig, brandishing knife near his neck.
A day after the video release, Kassig’s parents who hail from Indiana, took to YouTube to make an elegiac plea to the barbaric fighters, calling on them to show mercy and let their son go unharmed.
Kassig’s parents made the request to the IS even as earlier pleas made by the parents of other hostages have fallen on Islamic State’s deaf ears and the extremists have ended up beheading them.
His parents had also made public a letter written by Kassig in June, in which the twenty six-year-old American aid worker wrote how he was “pretty scared to die”, but still felt relieved that he tried to alleviate the sufferings of those in need.
Kassig wrote: “This is the hardest thing a man can go through, the stress and fear are incredible,” adding “Don’t worry Dad, if I do go down, I won’t go thinking anything but what I know to be true. That you and mom love me more than the moon and the stars.”
He ended the letter with a heart-breaking “I love you.”
Kassig had been held in Syria since October 2013. Kassig was an American Army Range before he went to the middle East to work as an aid worker in Syria.
Peter Kassig’s first trip to the Middle East was as a US soldier , but later he became a medical worker to alleviate the sufferings of war victims.
Kassig had founded a relief organisation named Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA), and was working for the same when he was captured on his way to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria last October.
The new IS video comes as the US and other anti-IS nations have intensified the air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
The video also may be the Islamic state’s answer to the reports that claim that Jihadi John – the British-accented executioner was hit in US air strike.
(With Agency Inputs)