CAIRO (AP) – An Internet video released today purports to show an Islamic State group fighter beheading British hostage Alan Henning, the fourth such killing carried out by the extremist group now targeted in United States-led airstrikes.
The video mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq, and ended with a militant threatening a man they identified as an American named Peter Kassig.
“Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment of Shams (Syria), which keeps on striking our people, so it is only right that we continue to strike the neck of your people,” the masked militant in the video said.
National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden confirmed that Kassig was being held by Islamic State militants, in a statement issued this evening.
“At this point we have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the video released earlier today. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal – military, diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence – to try to bring Peter home to his family,” Hayden said.
The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos and the masked militant sounded similar to the one who carried out the other slayings.
In a statement, the British Foreign Office said it was working to verify the video.
“If true, this is a further disgusting murder,” the statement read. “We are offering the family every support possible; they ask to be left alone at this time.”