US review of ISIS video confirms American's death

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The White House says the U.S. intelligence community is working to determine the authenticity of a video that purports to show that Islamic State militants have beheaded American aid worker Peter Kassig.

The White House says a review of a new Islamic State video confirms the death of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig. The video surfaced Sunday morning.

Kassig served in an Army special operations unit in Iraq and after he was medically discharged, he formed an aid organization in Turkey to help Syrian refugees. The Indianapolis man delivered food and medical supplies, and provided care to wounded Syrian civilians before he was seized in eastern Syria last year. He was profiled two years ago by CNN.

"We each get one life, and that's it," he said in the interview with CNN. "You get one shot at this."

During captivity, he converted to Islam and changed his name from Peter to Abdul Rahman.

From their Indiana home, his parents Paula and Ed Kassig launched a campaign, pleading for their son to be set free.

"We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go," Paula said.

Islamic groups around the world joined in. And even al Qaeda called for the release of Kassig.

But there was no mercy. And Sunday morning's video, posted on a known ISIS site, featured the purported executioner claiming to be in the Syrian city of Dabiq.

With what appears to be Kassig's severed head at his feet, he says we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.

If confirmed, Kassig will be the third American to be murdered by ISIS since Aug.

In a letter smuggled out by a fellow prisoner, Kassig wrote his parents: "If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need."

Experts are speaking out about the new video. Matt Olson, the former director of the National Counterterrorism Center spoke with ABC's Martha Raddatz Sunday morning on "This Week."

Olson says there are a number of factors that make the newest video released by ISIS different from previous ones.

"The biggest difference, Martha, is that we don't have what appears to be Peter Kassig speaking on the tape," Olson said. "And he's not shown alive as the other hostages who were executed."

When asked what that could mean, he said, "Well it's hard to say right now. It's possible of course that he wouldn't cooperate and speak on the video. Again, at this point right now, what's happening right now inside the government is that analysts in the intelligence community are looking very closely at this tape to determine whether it's authentic and to really examine every detail."

Olson says it's not clear when the tape was made. He also says the speaker is heard threatening American personnel, particularly troops and people on the streets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Related Topics:
isisterror threatterrorismmilitaryu.s. & worldislamist extremistsbarack obamapresident barack obamareligionisraeliraqsyria
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