The parents of Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the American aid worker threatened with death in ISIS' latest beheading video, pleaded with his captors Saturday to show mercy and free their son so he can “continue his life's work serving the people of the region.” In a video message, Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis said that they believe “violence is not the solution to the problems that trouble us all” and that “we've asked our government to change its actions, like our son, we have no more control over the U.S. government than you have over the breaking of dawn.”
Kassig, 26, a former Army Ranger who served in the Iraq war and then founded a humanitarian organization to help refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, was born Peter Kassig but adopted a Muslim name upon his conversion to Islam, which his parents said had given him comfort. He was undertaking a project for his group, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, when he was captured Oct. 1, 2013, on his way to Deir Ezzour in eastern Syria.
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— M. Alex Johnson