On Friday Militants of the Islamic State released a video which showed the beheading of an aid worker Alan Henning, sparking widespread condemnation from both the Americans and British politicians. Henning, 47, a former taxi driver who had turned into an aid worker, was part of an aid convoy that was transporting medical supplies to Northwest Syria when he was abducted after they were stopped in December by Islamic militants. He was described by his wife, Barbara as a selfless man who was also peaceful and she had pleaded with the Islamists to release him.
Also appearing in the same video was another American Peter Edward Kassig, a 26 year old former member of the US Army who was taken hostage in October, 2013 while doing humanitarian work in Syria. His parents, Ed and Paula Kassig have confirmed that their son was taken captive while working in Syria. US National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden also confirmed Kassig was being held by ISIS, adding that her government would use every means at their disposal to try and bring him home to his family.
The video footage shows a middle-aged man wearing an orange prison garb with a black dressed militant standing over him. The kneeling man, as in previous beheadings, appears to read from a prepared script. In the message that he reads, Henning says “Because of our parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State, I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision.” This was in apparent reference to the decision by the British parliament ‘s decision to support the air-strikes against the Islamic State.
Immediately after the release of the video, the office of David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, released a statement in which he condemned the killing of Henning, saying that this act showed how barbaric and repulsive the terrorists are. The American president, Barak Obama, in a statement, said: “The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of United Kingdom citizen Alan Henning. Standing together with our U.K. friends and allies, we will work to bring the perpetrators of Alan’s murder – as well as the murders of Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines to justice.” The American president was referring to other captives killed by ISIS militants. However, the militants seem undeterred by the air strikes as evidenced by the appearance of a British ISIS militant in a separate YouTube video calling on British Muslims to travel to Syria to join their organisation. In the video, the militant, only referred to as Britani, called the American and British troops “cowards” for using air strikes instead of sending in ground troops. He urged the respective governments to send all the troops, forces and reserves, adding that they would send them back one by one in coffins.