US hostage Kassig ‘beheaded by IS’


Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Islamic State has released a video appearing to show the beheading of American hostage Peter Kassig.

The IS militant in the footage speaks with a London accent and appears to be the same man responsible for previous hostage killings, known as Jihadi John.

Mr Kassig w as captured in Syria in October last year while providing medical training and humanitarian aid to victims of the country’s conflict.

Previous beheading videos showed a desert landscape but in this latest release the IS militant – who says he is in Iraq – appears to be in front of a town with fields in the distance.

Mr Kassig’s severed head is shown at the feet of a militant wearing black trousers and military-style khaki boots.

David Cameron said earlier today that he wants Jihadi John to face justice, after reports that he was injured in an allied air strike against IS commanders in Iraq.

The masked fanatic, believed to be responsible for the beheading of two British and two American hostages, is reported to have been taken to hospital after narrowly escaping death in the raid.

The Prime Minister declined to comment on the specific operation, but said the message should go out to anyone considering travelling to Syria or Iraq to fight for the militant group that they are ”putting themselves in harm’s way”.

Speaking at a press conference at the G20 summit in Australia, Mr Cameron said: ”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.

”The point is clear that if people travel to Syria or Iraq in order to conduct terror operations against British people, British citizens or people back here in Britain, then they are putting themselves in harm’s way and they shouldn’t be in any doubt about that.”

Reports suggested that Jihadi John was injured in a US-led air strike last weekend on a summit of IS leaders in the town of Al Qaim, in Anbar province, near Iraq’s border with Syria.

The latest video is the fifth time this year that IS has published footage showing the murder of Western hostages.

The beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were released online in August and September, while videos of the killings of British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning were posted in September and October.

Mr Kassig was last seen at the end of the video showing the murder of Mr Henning.

The American’s parents broke their silence over his captivity last month because “the dynamics” had changed and they feared for his life.

Paula and Ed Kassig said they had been doing all they could to free their 26-year-old son but were silent about his plight for a year at the instructions of the IS militants.

Mr Kassig told US show CBS This Morning: “They demand. They simply demand.”

His wife added: “We have sent them back messages that we cannot do what you ask. We have tried. But we don’t have the power to do it.”

Their son was born Peter but changed his name to Abdul-Rahman following his conversion to Islam while in captivity.

Paula Kassig told NBC’s Today show that the couple received an audio recording of their son in which he said he thought his time was running out.

The couple also released excerpts from a letter written by Peter in which he feared “it may very well be coming down to the wire here”.

Former prime minister Sir John Major described the latest murder as “13th-century barbarism”.

He told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “The people they are murdering, which makes it doubly worse, triply worse, are people who actually went there to help those in difficulty and in need.

“They are being murdered in the most brutal ways, almost beyond belief.”

On whether Britain is in a position to do something about the situation, Sir John added: “I don’t think we can do all that much about it alone, but can we contribute to helping other people to do something about it – I think the answer is undoubtedly yes.

“Though unless we want the old argument that the crusaders have come in to attack, we really need to support other Arabs on the ground and use our power in other ways to help them – surveillance, training, provide weapons and so forth – I think that is a proper role for us.”

Published: Sunday 16th November 2014 by The News Editor

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