As the United States continues its battle against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, executions of American citizens and other prisoners continue to reach media throughout the world. At the end of November, it was confirmed that ISIS had once again executed a US citizen as a message to President Obama and other leaders to cease the airstrikes that the President had approved in order to rid the world of these terrorists.
Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old Army Ranger and aid worker in Syria, disappeared over a year ago while attempting to deliver medical supplies to a nearby checkpoint. He was captured by ISIS militants and held prisoner until his execution. While in custody, Kassig adopted the Islamic religion, as well as the name Abdul-Rahman Kassig. Obama would use Kassig’s Islamic name in attempt to point out that ISIS had executed a fellow Muslim, one of their own.
Kassig’s execution was broadcasted onto YouTube and it contained the same British man dressed in all black who performed the previous executions. However, the contents of the video were not at all the same as any other previous video that the terrorist group had uploaded. The usual format showed the British man, nicknamed Jihadi John, warning the United States to terminate their airstrikes and other military actions in Syria and Iraq. Jihadi would then allow the hostage to speak before executing him on camera.
This was not the case for the video involving Kassig’s execution. The footage did not show Jihadi John performing the execution, or of Kassig speaking his final words. Instead, it began by showing the man in black holding the head of Kassig and telling the President and other viewers what the victim’s last words were, as well as continuing to threaten and warn of the dangers America has caused. Many experts believe that the reason the video was so different is that something had gone wrong when attempting to record the actual execution. Kassig could have possibly resisted the instructions of the ISIS militants, which completely threw off the staged video they normally follow.
As family, friends and many Americans mourn the loss of Peter Kassig, the President and other military leaders continue to bomb certain areas of Iraq and Syria in order to put an end to the growing threat known as ISIS.