Peter Kassig pictured in front of a truck somewhere along the Syrian border between late 2012 and autumn 2013 as Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA) was delivering supplies to refugees before the American aid worker was held captive by Islamic State jihadists.
When CNN met Peter Kassig
02:16 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Kassig is the fifth Western hostage ISIS apparently beheaded

He converted to Islam during his captivity and also went by the name Adbul Rahman Kassig

He was a former U.S. soldier who became a medical worker

He wanted to help the victims of war and was captured in Syria a year ago

CNN  — 

American aid worker and former soldier Peter Kassig was beheaded by ISIS terrorists, the White House confirmed Sunday, hours after a video claiming to show the victim surfaced online.

ISIS held Kassig as a hostage and in previous communications had threatened his life.

The video shows the aftermath of a beheading in which the victim is not clearly recognizable.

President Barack Obama confirmed the 26-year-old’s beheading, saying Kassig “was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.”

Kassig, who converted to Islam in captivity, also went by the name Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

He first traveled to the Middle East as a U.S. soldier and returned as a medical worker, feeling compelled to help victims of war.

He did aid work in Syria, where he was captured. He was held hostage for over a year.

“We are heartbroken to learn that our son, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, has lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering,” Kassig’s parents, Ed and Paula, said in a statement.

The parents released a previously unpublished audio recording of their son, recorded by a journalist before Kassig was taken captive.

“You know we would have a chance here to make up for a lot wrong that we did in this part of the world if we stepped in, in the right way,” Peter Kassig says in t