Indiana aid worker threatened in Syria is Army vet

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Peter Kassig, Indiana aid worker threatened by ISIS
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Indiana aid worker threatened in Syria is Army vet
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Ed and Paula Kassig attend a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Attendees look on during a vigil for aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Ed and Paula Kassig attend a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Attendees look on during a vigil for aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Paula Kassig leaves a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Ed and Paula Kassig attend a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Paula Kassig attends a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Paula Kassig attends a vigil for their son, aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 8: Attendees look on during a vigil for aid worker Peter Kassig at Butler University October 8, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Kassig has been held by ISIS since being captured in Syria in October of 2013. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Abdul-Rahman Kassig working as a medic to help a wounded man. A trained emergency medical technician, Kassig provided medical aid and first-aid training to those involved in the Syrian conflict in his work with Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA). Photo taken near Deir Ezzor in August 2013. (Photo provided to the Kassig family by the copyright owner with permission for media use.
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Abdul-Rahman Kassig (middle) helps push an ambulance up a hill during his time working with SERA. Photo taken near Deir Ezzor in August 2013. (Photo provided to the Kassig family by the copyright owner with permission for media use.
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Abdul-Rahman Kassig as a young boy with his mother, Paula Kassig, at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park near Corbin, Kentucky, during a family camping trip in 2000. (Photo provided by the Kassig family.
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Abdul-Rahman Kassig fishing with his father, Ed Kassig, near the Cannelton Dam on the Ohio River in southern Indiana in 2011. (Photo provided by the Kassig family.
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English transcript of today's video statement by the family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, formerly known as Peter.

"As Muslims around the world, including our son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, celebrate Eid ul-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."
RT @pdanahar: This is one of the images of Peter Kassig that his family has asked people to use to discuss his plight http://t.co/d1o5nOo7c6
Family of American ISIS hostage Peter Kassig: "We ask everyone around the world to pray" - http://t.co/2TFsB1rH3N http://t.co/pVZS9jjZTH
#ISIS now threatening American aid worker Peter Kassig w/death. Our thoughts & prayers to him & his family http://t.co/reoNImXXcY
Indiana native Peter Kassig threatened in latest ISIS beheading video: http://t.co/9ITmkOBJov http://t.co/CC3twfxX0K
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Peter Kassig first visited Beirut on a college spring break trip. What the former Army Ranger from Indiana saw there prompted him to return, the next time as a medical assistant and humanitarian worker hoping to offer blankets, food and medical care to victims of the region's conflicts.

Kassig founded a nongovernmental organization that provided aid for refugees fleeing the civil war in neighboring Syria. But his work in Lebanon led to his capture by militants on Oct. 1, 2013, while en route to eastern Syria.

On Friday, Kassig, 26, appeared in an online video that purported to show a masked militant who threatened to behead the Army veteran next, after the apparent beheading of British hostage Alan Henning.

The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video's authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos and the masked militant sounded similar to the one who carried out other slayings.

In a statement issued Friday evening, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden confirmed that Kassig was being held by Islamic State militants.

"At this point we have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the video released earlier today. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal - military, diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence - to try to bring Peter home to his family," Hayden said.

The video and threat were a heartbreaking development for Kassig's family and friends, who have stayed silent since his capture while working to secure his release.

Kassig's parents issued a statement Friday describing their son's work and asking for privacy.

"We ask everyone around the world to pray for the Henning family, for our son, and for the release of all innocent people being held hostage in the Middle East and around the globe," the statement said.

According to his parents, Kassig, an Indianapolis native, converted to Islam while in captivity and now goes by the name Abdul-Rahman. He served in the Iraq war and later became an emergency medical technician.

In a January 2013 interview with Time, Kassig said he traveled heavily throughout Lebanon to assess the needs of people there.

He said he designed his aid organization, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, around a belief that "there was a lot of room for improvement in terms of how humanitarian organizations interact with and cooperate with the populations that they serve."

SERA, he said, focused on supplementing the work of larger organizations by delivering aid that could "do the most good for the most people over the longest period of time possible."

"It's about showing people that we care, that someone is looking out for those who might be overlooked or who have slipped through the cracks in the system for whatever reason," he said.

SERA has since suspended its efforts while Kassig's family has worked to win his release.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence asked for prayers Friday for Kassig and his family during "this unspeakably difficult time."



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Alan Henning
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Indiana aid worker threatened in Syria is Army vet
This Tuesday, July 22, 2014 photo shows a motorist passing by a flag of the Islamic State group in central Rawah, 175 miles (281 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, nearly six weeks since a Sunni militant blitz led by the Islamic State extremist group seized large swaths of northern and western Iraq. (AP Photo) | Radio-Canada
Screen shot from an Internet video released Friday that purports to show an ISIS militant beheading British aid worker Alan Henning, who had been taken hostage by the extremist group.
Screen shot from an Internet video released Friday that purports to show an ISIS militant beheading British aid worker Alan Henning, who had been taken hostage by the extremist group.
Video released purporting to show Islamic State killing British hostage Alan Henning http://t.co/QP3ith31ma http://t.co/aA65MHuoBC
Breaking: new #ISIS video shows apparent beheading of UK aid worker #AlanHenning US aid worker also threatened http://t.co/kMPOacwtuU
Alan 'Gadget' Henning - kidnapped by Isis on Dec 27 2013 delivering aid to Syrians. http://t.co/Gw7G5i1jhO
Screen shot from the end of the video ended during which an ISIS militant threatened a man they identified as an American named Peter Edward Kassig.
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ISIS Claims to Have Killed British Hostage

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