Washington: As the barbaric extremist group Islamic State continues to slaughter innocent hostages one after another with the latest victim being 26-year-old Peter Kassig, US President Barack Obama has condoled the death of young American and branded the act of beheading as “pure evil”.
Meanwhile, according to an AFP report, authorities in France are suggesting that one of the executioner in Kassig's beheading video might be a Frenchman.
Hours after Obama condoled the beheading of US aid worker Peter Kassig, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters that there was a very "strong possibility" of a French being involved in the execution of Peter Kassig or that of 18 Syrian troops shown in the latest video released by the extremist group.
According to him, the person suspected to have featured in the IS video is a 22-year-old Frenchman named Maxime Hauchard and hailed from west of Paris.
The executioner in the IS video is seen donning the same balaclava that was worn by British-accented "Jihadi John" who appeared in previous such videos that showed grisly beheading of two US journalists and British aid workers.
Obama, who was aboard Air Force One while flying back to US after attending the G20 summit in Australia, condemned the ISIS for the evil act, asserting that it did not represent any faith, least of all Muslim faith that Abdur Rahman adopted as his own”.
"Today we offer our prayers and condolences to the parents and family of Abdul-Rahman Kassig." —President Obama pic.twitter.com/FNhXxwj8Re
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 16, 2014
Stressing on Peter Kassig's Muslim name, Obama stated, "Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity."
"Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig," Obama added, repeating Peter Kassig's Muslim name that he took after he converted to Islam in late 2013.
British PM David Cameron too expressed shock over the grisly beheading, saying that he was horrified by the cold-blooded act by the ISIS. Cameron added that the beheading of the US aid worker showed yet again the depravity of the ISIS.
I'm horrified by the cold blooded murder of Abdul-Rahman Kassig. ISIL have again shown their depravity. My thoughts are with his family.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) November 16, 2014
Kassig's parents said they were “heartbroken” to hear about their son's death.
"We are incredibly proud of our son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling," they said in a statement.
His parents said that Kassig died for love of Syrian people.
"We will work every day to keep his legacy alive as best we can," the statement added.
Kassig is the fifth Western hostage and third American to be beheaded by the ISIS in less than three months.
Islamic State on Sunday released another gruesome video claiming the beheading of 26-year-old American aid worker.
In the video, the fighter wearing the same balaclava outfit donned by Jihadi John in previous videos, says, "This is Peter Edward Kassig, a US citizen of your country".
"To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we will be slaughtering your soldiers," said the executioner in the video named "Although the Disbelievers Dislike It".
The IS fighter also called British PM David Cameron as Obama's puppet and threatened to slaughter people on US streets.
"..And the Islamic State will soon, like your puppet David Cameron said, will begin to slaughter your people on your streets," he added.
The beheading video comes more than a month after the IS released the beheading video of British aid worker Alan Henning in October. At the end of the video, the executioner - supposedly “Jihadi John” - had threatened to kill Peter Kassig, brandishing knife near his neck.