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American IS Hostage Says 'Scared to Die' in Letter to Parents: Reports

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The parents of an Indiana aid worker Peter Kassig, threatened with beheading by the Islamic State (IS), have released excerpts of a letter from their son in June in which he said he was "scared to die," BBC News reported Monday.

MOSCOW, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The parents of an Indiana aid worker Peter Kassig, threatened with beheading by the Islamic State (IS), have released excerpts of a letter from their son in June in which he said he was "scared to die," BBC News reported Monday.

"I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all," Kassig, a Muslim convert who prefers to be known as Abdul-Rahman wrote in a letter to his parents, according to the newspaper.

"If I do die, I 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," the IS hostage added.

Kassig was threatened by the IS at the end of a video posted by the militant group on October 3, showing the beheading of British hostage Alan Henning. According to Kassig's parents, their son was working for the relief organization he founded to aid Syrian refugees, Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA), when captured in eastern Syria in October 2013.

Kassig's parents decided to release parts of the letter "so the world can understand why we and so many people care for him and admire him," BBC reported.

The parents also released a video pleading to the IS to free their son following the broadcast of the video threatening Kassig"s beheading.

The IS has already executed American reporter James Foley, American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines and British aid worker Alan Henning. The jihadists explain they are killing hostages in retaliation to US-led air strikes targeting IS militants.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories it had seized.

In August, the United States started launching airstrikes against IS positions in Iraq. In September, attacks by the United States and its allies were extended to Syria.

Tags:
Iraq, airstrike, hostages, refugees, Caliphate, Jihadists
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