In a letter reportedly written to his parents, the 26-year-old former U.S. Army Ranger threatened with beheading by ISIS said he “can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”
In October of last year, Peter Kassig was taken captive by the Islamic State group, while he was providing aid for refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war. Kassig was seen at the end of a video ISIS released a few days ago, apparently showing the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.
What you may not know about the one-time U.S. soldier is that, after he was medically discharged from the Army and was captured by ISIS, he voluntarily converted to Islam when he shared a cell with a Syrian Muslim. Kassig’s parents say that their son “took Islam’s practices seriously, including praying the five daily prayers and taking on the name Abdul-Rahman.”
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Fox News reports that in the letter sent by Peter Kassig to his parents, he thanked them for their strength and commitment and appeared to try to prepare them for his death.
“I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all,” Kassig said in the letter, according to his parents. “I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through.
If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”
According to The Telegraph, Kassig’s mother and father said their son grew to love and admire the Syrian people and felt at home among them.
“Our son’s journey culminated in him embracing Islam. Sadly he was taken captive and is not free to continue his life’s work serving the people of the region.”
Mrs Kassig added: “We are so very proud of you and the work you have done to bring humanitarian arid to the Syrian people.
“Our hearts ache for you to be granted your freedom so that we can hug you again and then set you free to continue the life you have chosen, the life of service to those in gravest [danger].”
Prior to the release of the ISIS video in which he was seen, details of Kassig’s disappearance in Syria were subject to a news blackout as part of an effort to secure his freedom.
Friends took to social media to express their horror that the Islamic State militants could threaten a fellow Muslim and someone trying to help the people of the region.
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Image Credit: youtube
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