The parents of American aid worker Peter Kassig, 26, who has been threatened with beheading by Islamic State group militants, want their son to know they “haven’t abandoned him.” Paula and Ed Kassig made the remark in an interview to be shown on the NBC “Today” program Monday.
“I’m hoping that he will somehow hear of some this -- and of other conversations we’ve had or other times we’ve spoken in public,” Paula Kassig said. “That way, he will know that we haven’t forgotten him. We haven’t abandoned him. And we certainly do love him.”
NBC said a full transcript would be available after the interview airs.
Aka Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the aid worker was among the American citizens the U.S. tried to rescue from the extremist group formerly known as ISIS, which has beheaded at least two U.S. journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British nationals Alan Henning and David Haines. It then distributed videos depicting the barbarity.
Kassig, who has been in Islamic State custody for a year, was a U.S. Army Ranger and served in Iraq. After his discharge, he became an emergency medical technician and completed a semester of college before deciding to return to the Middle East. He changed his first name to Abdul-Rahman after converting to Islam last year. He had been living in Beirut and working with Special Emergency Response and Assistance, a refugee aid group he founded in 2012.
Kassig was kidnapped in Syria en route to a town in the eastern part of the country. ISIS has said Kassig is the next captive to be beheaded. He was featured at the end of a video depicting the death of Henning.