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Islamic State militants have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig, the former Army Ranger who went to Lebanon to help Syrian refugees, even though he converted to Islam, a video posted on social media shows. After conversion during captivity, Kassig took the name Abdul-Rahman.
Kassig, 26, was captured on October 1, 2013, by Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants. He had served in Iraq before becoming a medical technician. In May 2012, he travelled to Lebanon where he volunteered in hospitals.
His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig from Indiana, recorded a video message in May 2014 appealing for their son’s release.
“As Muslims around the world, including our son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, celebrate Eid al-Adha, the faith and sacrifice of Ibrahim, and the mercy of Allah, we appeal to those holding our son to show the same mercy and set him free,” they said in a statement.
Kassig founded his own aid organization, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), a non-governmental group intended to provide relief to Syrian refugees.
Islamic State militants first showed him in the video of the beheading of UK aid worker Alan Henning, who shared a prison cell with Kassig. After Jihadi John, an IS executioner with a London accent, killed Henning, he also threatened Kassig would be next.