Kassig, 26, is seen at the end of the video that emerged online today, after Henning’s apparent death, as the black clad militant says it is right that ISIS attacks Americans as long as American bomb ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.
Hours after the video appeared online, Kassig’s family released a statement in which they extended their condolences to the Henning family and “ask[ed] 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.”
His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, also released a video message for him Saturday.
"Know that we love you, and our hearts ache for you to be granted your freedom so we can hug you again and then set you free to continue the life you have chosen, the life of service to those in greatest need," said Paula Kassig. "We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go."
In the fall of 2012, the family representative said Kassig founded an NGO called SERA, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, eventually moving its base of operations to Turkey. From there Kassig “sourced and delivered food and medical supplies to the growing [refugee] camps on both sides of the Syrian border.” He also gave primary trauma care to children caught in the crossfire.
Kassig was abducted in October 2013 while traveling to a town in eastern Syria for SERA. For the intervening year, the Kassig family kept silent about his abduction “at the wish of those who have held their son,” the representative said.
In a statement released today, President Obama said the U.S. “strongly condemns” Henning’s murder and said his was a “great loss for [the Syrian people], for his family and the people of the United Kingdom.”
“Standing together with our U.K. friends and allies, we will work to bring the perpetrators of Alan’s murder – as well as the murders of Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines – to justice,” Obama said.