It has been confirmed that American aid worker Peter Kassig was beheaded by ISIS and that the video released by the extremist group is authentic – but one detail remains a uncertain: Kassig may have reportedly refused to recite a jihadist speech prepared for him prior to his murder.
The video released Sunday is different from others ISIS has posted to social media sites in the past. It shows Kassig’s severed head, but unlike previous videos, the actual murder of the hostage was not filmed – leading many to believe he knew he was about to be killed and that he refused to read a speech prepared for him, reports Daily Mail.
When victims James Foley and David Haines were killed, both were shown kneeling down and speaking positively about the Islamic State before ISIS fighters beheaded them. In this video, an ISIS member admits that Kassig had “little to say,” but doesn’t elaborate.
Another difference between this 16-minute video and the three that preceded it was that the 26-year-old former Army veteran, who was captured in Syria in October 2013 while working with a humanitarian group, did not announce a new captive who would be killed next, reports The Independent. A tape released on Oct. 3 that shows British aid worker Alan Henning being killed also included an announcement that Kassig would be their next victim. Officials are questioning these differences and some believe ISIS may be changing its strategy.
ISIS reportedly still has one American hostage – an unnamed 26-year-old woman. Sources say she is an aid worker who was captured in Syria and that ISIS is demanding $6 million for her release.