IS Beheads Peter Kassig, Challenges US to Send Ground Troops
The Islamic State (IS) released a video showing the head of American citizen Peter Kassig after it was severed from his body, with the British executor who killed other American and British citizens challenging the U.S. to send ground troops into Iraq and Syria.
The 15 minute, 53 second, English-subtitled video, entitled, "Although the Disbelievers Dislike It," was produced by al-Furqan Media Foundation, and was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums on November 16, 2014. The production tracks the growth of the IS from 2003, when Abu Musab al-Zarqawi began jihadi operations in Iraq under the name of Tawhid Wal Jihad, and its success over time, through al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Mujahideen Shura Council, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS).
Before showing the severed head of Kassig, the video also shows the brutal simultaneous beheading of several Syrian pilots. Fighters march the men in a line, grabbing knives along the way, and behead the men after the British executor says:
To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we will be slaughtering your soldiers. And with Allah's permission, we will break this final and last Crusade, and the Islamic State will soon, like your puppet David Cameron said, will begin to slaughter your people on your streets.
"The Islamic State's choice to show the entire beheading process of the Syrian pilots is another attempt to terrorize the American public from supporting its involvement in a war against IS," says SITE Director Rita Katz. "This tactic follows the same old approach that was used by the group's founder, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi."
In the next segment showing the masked executor, he stands above a head, which he identifies to be Kassig's, stating:
This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country. Peter who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier under the American army, doesn't have much to say. His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf.
The British executor then goes on to address the US's decision to deploy troops into Iraq, stating:
But we say to you Obama, like our Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-'Adnani said, you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn, and if you had withdrawn, that you would return, even if after some time. You would return. Here you are. You have not withdrawn. Rather, you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrawn the rest. Your forces will return, greater in number than they were before. You will return, and your proxies will not benefit you.
He then followed up:
We also remind you of the haunting words that our Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi told you: "The spark has been lit here in Iraq and its heat will continue to intensify by Allah's permission until it burns the Crusader army in Dabiq. Here we are, burning the first American Crusader in Dabiq, eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive."
The video's release, which serves as a response to the US's decision to deploy 1,500 troops into Iraq to assist the country's military forces in their fight against IS, comes over a month after the group's previous beheading video of British aid worker Alan Henning, released on October 3.
Katz: "While the group has demonstrated that none of their enemies in Syria or Iraq can stop the establishment and expansion of their 'Caliphate,' they do indeed see a US military presence as a threat."
"While the group has demonstrated that none of their enemies in Syria or Iraq can stop the establishment and expansion of their 'Caliphate,' they do indeed see a US military presence as a threat," says SITE Director Rita Katz. "Thus, the Islamic State will do whatever it takes to stop American military action against their Caliphate."
An edited version of the video is available here: