Family of Hoosier ISIS victim responds to death of group’s leader

Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The family of an Indianapolis man executed on camera by ISIS in 2014 responded to the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend.

“We pray, especially today, that all those who are affected by warfare and hate may find Light. Haste the day when swords shall be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks!”  read a statement on a Facebook page dedicated to the memory of Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig who died after more than a year in captivity following his kidnapping by Isis in 2013.

Abdul-Rahman Kassig was a former Army Ranger, North Central High School graduate and Butler University student when he stayed in the middle east following his military tour to become an aid worker for civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces, opposition militia and the Isis terrorism group in Syria.

This weekend, President Trump announced the death of the Isis leader al-Baghdadi reportedly as he tried to escape advancing Navy Seals who raided his compound in northeastern Syria.

Vice President Mike Pence was the governor of Indiana when Abdul-Rahman Kassig was murdered.

“As a Hoosier I will tell you that I remember when Peter Kassig was killed. It broke the heart of the people of Indiana,” said Pence after the death of al-Baghdadi was announced.

U.S. Representative Andre Carson of Indianapolis, one of a handful of members of Congress who practice the Muslim faith and the congressmen representing the Kassig family in 2014, issued a statement that read, “The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is welcome news for all who have been threatened, terrorized and harmed by his heinous actions.

At the time of their son’s death, the Kassigs offered statements that were eloquent in their grief.

“Greater love hath no man that this than to lay down his life for another,” said Ed Kassig, quoting John 15:13 of the Bible.

“He has chosen to believe in the good in himself and in others,” said Paula Kassig. “Peter’s life is evidence that he’s been right all along, one person can make a difference.”

During his captivity, during which Kassig converted to Islam and changed his name, he wrote his parents, “I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through. If I do die, 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 the fall of 2014, during the arrangements for a memorial service, several representatives of local Islamic organizations expressed their condolences for the death of Kassig.

None were available for comment today.

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