The parents of the American aid worker who has been threatened with beheading in Syria released more of their son’s letter from captivity on Monday, as part of their campaign to get their son released.
Abdul-Rahman Kassig, formerly known as Peter, was captured on 1 October 2013 and is being held by Islamic State (Isis) militants. His family had asked for a media blackout after his disappearance, at the orders of Kassig’s captors.
The blackout remained in place until Kassig appeared in a video released last week, which showed the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning. In the video, an Isis militant threatens to kill Kassig, which prompted his family to go public.
“We couldn’t answer honestly when people would ask us. So we had to lie to our friends again and again and again,” Abdul-Rahman’s mother Paula told CBS News in the Kassigs’ first television interview.
The Kassigs pointed to the killing of US journalist Steven Sotloff by Isis as a turning point. At one point, the two hostages had been cellmates.
“The dynamics have changed now. Steven’s family kept to secrecy, and he was executed. Peter’s name has been listed,” Ed Kassig told CBS News.
Kassig’s parents have asked people to refer to their son by the name he adopted upon converting to Islam in captivity, and not by his birth name Peter.