(JTA) – The Islamic State jihadist group beheaded an American hostage.
In a video posted online Sunday morning on jihadist and social networking sites, the group also known as ISIS and ISIL said it beheaded American aid worker Peter Kassig, who went by the name Abdul-Rahman Kassig after converting to Islam.
Kassig, 26, of Indianapolis, was abducted in October 2013 in Syria. He founded a Turkey-based non-profit group that assists refugees on both sides of the Syria-Turkey border.
Kassig served in the U.S. Army during the Iraq war and was honourably discharged in 2007 over a medical ailment.
U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed that the video was authentic and said that Kassig was killed in “an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.”
The video reportedly did not show the actual beheading but showed a black-masked man speaking with a British accent with a bloody decapitated head at his feet.
“This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country; Peter who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier,” the masked man said.
The masked man is dressed and sounds the same as the man seen in four other beheading videos, including that of dual American-Israeli citizen Steven Sotloff.
For the first time, the video identified where the beheading took place.
“Here, we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive,” the believed executioner said.
Dabiq is located in northern Syria near the border with Turkey.
The video also reportedly showed the beheading of several men identified as Syrian military personnel, the French news agency AFP reported.
Kassig founded SERA, or Special Emergency Response and Assistance, working from Turkey to provide food and medical supplies to refugee camps on both sides of the Syria-Turkey border while helping refugees flee the more then three-year-long civil war in Syria, according to ABC News.
Videos released since Aug. 19 have shown the beheading of Sotloff, American journalist James Foley, and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.