Parents of American held by Islamic State release photos, letter

By REUTERS
October 6, 2014 06:34
1 minute read.

 
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The parents of an US aid worker held hostage by Islamic State militants on Sunday released photographs of their son and parts of a letter he wrote them from captivity in which he says he is scared to die but at peace with his belief.



Peter Kassig, 26, was taken captive a year ago while doing humanitarian work in Syria, his family has said. He was threatened in an Islamic State video issued on Friday that showed the beheading of a British aid worker.



Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis, Indiana, appealed for his release on Saturday in a video message.



On Sunday, they called for people to use the name he has taken since converting to Islam, Abdul-Rahman Kassig.



They also released photos of him working as a medic in Syria in 2013, fishing with his father on the Ohio River in southern Indiana in 2011, and - much younger - standing in his mother's arms by a waterfall during a family camping trip in 2000.



Kassig's parents said they were overwhelmed by the response from those who thought their boy was a hero for the humanitarian work he had been doing.

They have also said their son served in the US Army during the Iraq war before being medically discharged. Pentagon records show he spent a year in the army as a Ranger and was deployed to Iraq from April to July 2007.

After leaving the army, Kassig became an emergency medical technician and traveled to Lebanon in May 2012, volunteering in hospitals and treating Palestinian refugees and those fleeing Syria's civil war.

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