ISIS claims it beheaded US hostage, Peter Kassig, 18 Syrian soldiers
Agence France Presse/Nov. 16, 2014
BEIRUT: ISIS on Sunday claimed to have executed Peter Kassig, a U.S. aid worker kidnapped in Syria, as a warning to the United States.
The same video showed the gruesome simultaneous beheadings of at least 18 men described as Syrian military personnel, the latest in a series of mass executions and other atrocities carried out by ISIS.
“This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country,” said a black-militant wearing a balaclava, the same outfit worn by the man who beheaded two American journalists and two British aid workers in earlier videos. The man stood over a severed head bearing a resemblance to Kassig, a former American soldier.
“Here, we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive,” the militant said.
Dabiq is the site of a major 16th century battle in what is now northern Syria that saw the Ottomans defeat the Mamluks and begin a major expansionist phase of an empire the ISIS group considers to have been the last caliphate.
In a highly choreographed sequence earlier in the video, jihadists marched at least 18 prisoners said to be Syrian officers and pilots by a wooden box of long military knives, each taking one as they passed, then forced them to kneel in a line and decapitated them.
ISIS spearheaded a militant offensive that overran much of Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland since June after seizing major territory in neighbouring Syria, and carried out a series of atrocities in both countries.
The group has killed hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian tribesmen who opposed it, attacked religious and ethnic minorities, sold women as slaves, executed scores of Iraqi security personnel and carried out beheadings on camera.
US seeking to confirm authenticity of new ISIS video
Julie Pace/Associated Press/Nov. 16, 2014
BRISBANE: The White House says the U.S. intelligence community is working to determine the authenticity of a video that purports to show that ISIS militants have beheaded American aid worker Peter Kassig.
National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says that if the video is authentic, the White House would be “appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American.” She says the White House expresses its deepest condolences to Kassig’s family and friends.
The video emerged just minutes after President Barack Obama departed Australia for the U.S. The president was in Australia for the Group of 20 economic summit. Kassig, 26, was captured last year while helping provide medical aid to Syrians. His friends say he converted to Islam in captivity and changed his name to Abdul-Rahman.