The next innocent life threatened by radical Islamic militants in Syria hits too close to home.
ISIS militants published a video showing the beheading of British aid volunteer Alan Henning Friday. The video’s release is three weeks after the militant group stated Henning would be the next to die. The convoy driver is the fourth western national to be killed by the group.
At the end of the video, his captors presented Indiana native Peter Edward Kassig. According to various news reports, the presentation mirrors previous videos, indicating Kassig will be the fifth victim. Henning was presented in the video showing the death of British aid worker David Haines.
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Henry County Jefferson-Jackson dinner in New Castle, but canceled his appearance at the last minute. Donnelly issued the following statement while making plans to return to Washington D.C.:
“This is an unimaginably devastating situation for any parent to endure. My prayers are with Peter’s parents at this terrible time. My family, like everyone in Indiana and across our country, is praying for and thinking of Peter and his family. I ask for respect of the Kassig family’s privacy as they seek to navigate this heartbreaking situation. I ask all Hoosiers to continue to keep Peter in their thoughts and prayers in the days ahead.”
Kassig was the subject of a CNN profile in 2012 for his work in the region. According to the article, Kassig is a former U.S. Army Ranger who fought in Iraq in 2007. He received a medical discharge after a short tour and returned to the United States to attend Butler University to study political science. After he couldn’t shake the feeling that his time overseas wasn’t done despite the end of his military career, Kassig trained as an emergency medical technician in 2010. He re-located to Lebanon in 2012 to provide aid to Syrian refugees.
Governor Mike Pence issued this statement:
“Our prayers are with Peter Kassig and his family during this unspeakably difficult time. I urge all Hoosiers to keep this compassionate young man and those who know and love him in their thoughts and prayers.”
The White House is working to authenticate the video.