The Islamic State Claims It Has Beheaded a US Aid Worker

The Associated Press reports, "The Islamic State group released a graphic video on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in which a black-clad militant claimed to have beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, who was providing medical aid to Syrians fleeing the civil war when he was captured inside Syria on Oct. 1, 2013."

The video 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," the Associated Press reports.

The White House told the Guardian that the U.S. intelligence community "was working to determine the authenticity of the video." National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan added that if the video was authentic, the White House would be "appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American."

Kassig's family say they were awaiting confirmation of the reports about their "treasured son." Kassig's friends say he converted to Islam in captivity and took the first name Abdul-Rahman.

Kassig is the fifth hostage from the U.S. and U.K. to have been beheaded by the black-clad "Jihadi John" as part of a propaganda initiative against Western forces battling the militant group in Iraq and Syria.

The British prime minister David Cameron released this statement on Facebook:


Editor's Note: Feb. 12, 2015

An earlier version of this article cited and linked to the Associated Press, but did not include quotations around the phrase "The Islamic State group released a graphic video on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014, in which a black-clad militant claimed to have beheaded U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, who was providing medical aid to Syrians fleeing the civil war when he was captured inside Syria on Oct. 1, 2013.” The story has been updated to fully attribute the Associated Press’ language.

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Jared Keller

Jared Keller is the former director of news at Mic.

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