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Video appears to show killing of Isis hostage Peter Kassig


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16-minute video also purports to show mass beheading of Syrian soldiers in one of the most horrifying scenes yet published by Isis

 

 

 

 

Islamic State (Isis) has released a video appearing to show the British terrorist known as “Jihadi John” standing over the severed head of US aid worker Peter Kassig.

 

Kassig is the one of five US and UK hostages to have been murdered in cold blood in Syria as part of a propaganda initiative by Isis.

 

The footage also showed what appeared to be the mass beheading of several captured Syrian soldiers.

 

At the end of the 15-minute, 53-second video released by Al Furqan media on Sunday morning, a man who looks and sounds like the British combatant the Mail on Sunday claims was injured in a recent US air strike stands over the head of Peter Kassig.

 

The militant appears to be uninjured and dressed in the same clothes as in previous videos – a full black robe, a leather knife belt and a balaclava-style mask over his face showing only his eyes.

 

Speaking to the camera, he says: “This is Peter Edwards Kassig, a US citizen of your country. Peter, who fought against the Muslims in Iraq whilst serving as a soldier in the American army, doesn’t have much to say. His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf.

 

“But we say to you, Obama … you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn. And that if you had withdrawn you would return even after some time – you would return.”

 

He adds: “Your forces will return greater in number than they were before. We also remind you of the haunting words of our Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi told you. The spark has been lit here in Iraq and its heat will continue to intensify by Allah’s permission until it burns the crusader army.”

 

He said Isis would “bury” American soldiers under Syrian soil.

 

It was not immediately possible to confirm that the man pictured in the video was Kassig. Family representatives were not immediately available for comment.

 

In one of the most gruesome and horrifying scenes to be officially published by Isis media outlets, the British terrorist is also seen leading Isis fighters in a mass beheading of men claimed to be combatants loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

 

Dressed in dessert camouflage, Isis soldiers are shown collecting hunting knives from a box and leading out their prisoners, whose hands are bound with plastic ties. A;; are dressed in black trousers and shirts.

 

While over a dozen Isis jihadis, who appear to be from a mix of heritages, stand over the unarmed prisoners, the man who appears to be Jihadi John makes an address to the US president, as in previous videos.

 

“To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we’ll be slaughtering your soldiers. With Allah’s permission we will break this final and last crusade and the Islamic State will soon like your puppet David Cameron said will begin to slaughter your people on your streets.”

 

The men are then beheaded, the film-makers employing slow motion, multiple camera angles and sound effects to achieve maximum horror.

 

Entitled “Although the disbelievers like it”, the film also gives a three-minute potted history of Islamic State since the invasion of Iraq by western allies in 2003 and celebrates recent pledges of allegiance from jihadi fighters from Libya, the Sinai, Algeria and Yemen, claiming that the era of division amongst jihadi fighters was over.

 

Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old charity worker from Indiana, was taken hostage on 1 October 2013 while on his way to Deir Ezzour in eastern Syria as part of his humanitarian work.

 

He changed his name to Abdul-Rahman Kassig upon converting to Islam in captivity.

 

There was a media blackout around his kidnapping until he appeared in a video in October that showed the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning. In that video, an Isis militant threatened to kill Kassig, which prompted his family to go public.

 

Kassig’s family released a letter from him in October, which read in part: “Mentally I am pretty sure this is the hardest thing a man can go through, the stress and fear are incredible but I am coping as best I can. I am not alone.”

 

Kassig enlisted in the US army in 2004, according to his military records obtained by the Associated Press, and became a ranger.

 

He was deployed to Iraq in 2007, according to an interview he gave to Time magazine. Kassig was honourably discharged from the army for medical reasons, his family said. He attended Butler University in Indianapolis between 2011 and 2013 to study political science and government, according to his LinkedIn profile.

 

Kassig went to Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, in spring 2012. “I was interested in what I could learn about the Syrian crisis first-hand and what I could do to help and raise awareness about the crisis amongst my peers back at home in the United States,” he told Time. He had been taking an entry-level Arabic course there.

 

He described his travels throughout Lebanon, particularly his experiences volunteering “on a small scale” in a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Beirut, as well as in a hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon, “offering my services as a trauma medic to Syrian refugees who have been wounded in the fighting in Syria”.

 

In 2012, he founded Special Emergency and Response and Assistance (Sera), a “medically oriented emergency relief organizsation” serving the internally displaced and refugees. The organizsation was focused on the civil war in Syria.

 

Sera, a small operation, focused on “non-material aid and assistance”, which largely meant providing medical training, coordinating relief for “high-risk” medical cases and coordinating the delivery of medical supplies to children and civilians to field camps, refugee camps and hospitals in Lebanon and Syria.

 

Photographs on the organisation’s website show Kassig providing training and medical treatment.

 

Kassig’s family said he was undertaking a project for Sera when he was captured.

 

Earlier on Sunday, the British prime minister, David Cameron, declined to comment on reports suggesting the British Jihadi believed to be responsible for executing hostages in Syria had been injured or even killed in allied air strikes.

 

“You should be in no doubt that I want Jihadi John to face justice for the appalling acts that have been carried out in Syria, but I wouldn’t make any comment on individual issues and strikes,” Cameron said.

 

“If people travel to Syria or Iraq in order to conduct terror operations against British people or British citizens, and people back in Britain, they are putting themselves in harm’s way and they should not be in any doubt that.”

 

The British Foreign Office said: “We are aware of reports and we cannot confirm these reports.”

 

Additional reporting by Peter Walker, Raya Jalabi, Ian Cobain and Patrick Wintour

 

 

Peter-Kassig-009.jpg

 

Peter Kassig, the American citizen held hostage held by Islamic State militants.

Photograph: Sera (Special Emergency Response & Assistance) website

 

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/16/isis-beheads-peter-kassig-reports

 

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Thanks Umbert!

 

Rest in Peace Peter Kasig. Thank you for your service and thank you for following your heart in helping the Syrian refugees. G-d Bless you.

 

 

Peter Kassig’s parents pay emotional tribute to their murdered son Ed and Paula Kassig express their pride at Peter’s humanitarian work in Syria
kassig-family_3108251b.jpg
Peter Kassig's parents pay tribute to humanitarian son beheaded by Islamic State
 

By David Millward, US Correspondent

11:00PM GMT 16 Nov 2014

 

The parents of Peter Kassig, the American aid worker who became the fifth hostage to be beheaded by the Islamic State, recalled the selfless work he performed in Syria.

Mr Kassig, who converted to Islam and changed his name from Peter to Abdul-Rahman, was captured in October last year while travelling in an ambulance to deliver medical supplies to stricken civilians in the east of the country.

The 26 year old former army ranger from Indianapolis, who served in Iraq in 2007, became an aid worker after leaving the army.

He devoted himself to providing support to a country where more than nine million civilians had been forced out of their homes during a savage civil war.

The plight of the Syrians was also recalled by Mr and Mrs Kassig in a statement they issued on Facebook paying tribute to their son.

 

“We are heartbroken to learn that our son, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, has lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering,” they wrote.

“Our heart also goes out to the families of the Syrians who lost their lives, along with our son.

“Fed by a strong desire to use his life to save the lives of others, Abdul-Rahman was drawn to the camps that are filled with displaced families and to understaffed hospitals inside Syria.

“We know he found his home amongst the Syrian people, and he hurt when they were hurting.”

They quoted a letter which Mr Kassig sent in March 2012, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence from Butler University in Indianapolis, to help the Syrian people.

“Here, in this land, I have found my calling,” Mr Kassig wrote. "II do not know much. Every day that I am here I have more questions and less answers, but what I do know is that I have a chance to do something here, to take a stand. To make a difference.”

Ed and Paula Kassig said they were “incredibly proud” of their son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling.

We will work every day to keep his legacy alive as best we can.

“We remain heartbroken, also, for the families of the other captives who did not make it home safely.

“The families of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning remain in our daily thoughts and prayers, and we pray for the safe return of all remaining captives held by all sides of the Syrian civil war,” Mr and Mrs Kassig added.

“We remain eternally grateful for the many, many words of support and prayers from all over the world on our son’s behalf.

“We ask people to continue to pray for the safe return of all captives being held unjustly and all people being oppressed around the world, and especially for the people of Syria, a land our son loved.”

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