Who is former US soldier and aid worker Peter Kassig, the next ISIS target?
NEW YORK (PIX11) – American Peter Kassig will be the next hostage executed by Islamic State extremists, according to the latest purported beheading video of British aid worker Alan Henning.
Kassig, 26, is a former soldier who was deployed to Iraq in 2007, but was medically discharged after a short term. Disillusioned with life back in the states, Kassig trained to be an emergency medical technician before flying to Lebanon where he volunteered in a hospital that helped Syrian refugees.
“I needed to make a drastic decision. It was a huge identity thing; it was time to re-evaluate,” Kassig told CNN. “I needed a game changer.”
Despite having a limited Arabic vocabulary, Kassig said he was touched by the positivity and warmth of those he met.
It’s not clear when he was abducted by militants, but in February of 2013 he did an interview with Syria Deeply in hopes of raising funds for his now defunct aid group, SERA.
“Sometimes rebels want to know if I will help train people or if I will join the fight. I always tell them no,” he said. “It is of course not that I do not feel terrible for the civilians that are suffering in Syria, but . . . for an American young man in my position that would be foolish, and regarded as such by pretty much everyone, including the opposition.”