ISIS released a graphic video today in which a black-clad militant claims to have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig, and the White House confirms that it's really him. Kassig "was a humanitarian who worked to save the lives of Syrians injured and dispossessed," says President Obama, per the AP. Kassig "was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity." American intelligence had signs in recent days that ISIS had killed the 26-year-old, the New York Times reports, though there was no proof before the video's release. The militant—apparently Jihadi John, though his voice was distorted to make identifying him difficult—was standing over a severed head, though the video did not depict the actual beheading.
"This is Peter Edward Kassig, a US citizen, of your country," the voice says in a British accent. "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. But we say to you, Obama, you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you are liars." The video also shows what appears to be the mass beheading of several Syrian soldiers captured by the group. Kassig, a former US Army Ranger, was providing medical aid to Syrians fleeing the country's civil war when he was captured inside Syria on Oct. 1, 2013, CNN reports. His friends say he converted to Islam in captivity and took the first name Abdul-Rahman. The BBC has a profile of Kassig here. (Read more Peter Kassig stories.)