Washington: Few days after an Islamic State video was posted online threatening to kill a 26-year-old US hostage Peter Kassig, the captive's parents have released excerpts from a letter written by him during the ISIS captivity.
According to a BBC report, Peter's parents - Ed and Paula Kassig - decided to make public the excerpts so that “the world can understand why we and so many people care for him and admire him".
Having beheaded US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines, Islamic State released a gruesome video last Friday showing the beheading of another British aid worker Alan Henning.
Towards the end of the video, the British-accented IS fighter threatened to kill 26-year-old Peter Kassig.
A day after the video release, Kassig's parents who hail from Indiana, took to YouTube to make an elegiac plea to the barbaric fighters, calling on them to show mercy and let their son go unharmed.
In the emotional video, Kassig's mother is shown wearing a headscarf and refers to her son as as Abdul-Rahman - a name he took after being converted to Islam during the IS captivity.
Kassig's parents made the request to the IS even as earlier pleas made by the parents of other hostages have fallen on Islamic State's deaf ears and the extremists have ended up beheading them.
In the letter written by Kassig in June, the twenty six-year-old American aid worker writes how he is “pretty scared to die”, but still relieved that he tried to alleviate the sufferings of those in need.
Here are some excerpts of his letter written to parents, as cited by the BBC.
"I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all.
"I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through.
"If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.
"In terms of my faith, I pray everyday and I am not angry about my situation in that sense.
The letter concludes with a heart-breaking "I love you."
Peter Kassig's first trip to the Middle East was as a US soldier , but later he became a medical worker to alleviate the sufferings of war victims.
Kassig had founded a relief organisation named Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA), and was working for the same when he was captured on his way to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria last October.