The mother of American hostage Abdul-Rahman Kassig has asked the leader of the Islamic State militants to tell her what has happened to her son.
In a letter posted on Twitter, Paula Kassig told the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: “I am an old woman, and Abdul-Rahman is my only child. My husband and I are on our own, with no help from the government. We would like to talk to you. How can we reach you?”
Her son Kassig, 26, was abducted last year while doing aid work in eastern Syria, the Independent newspaper reported.
Last week, he appeared in a video the extremist group released online. The video showed the beheading of the British humanitarian worker Alan Henning. It ended with a threat to murder Kassig.
His parents — Paula and Ed, a schoolteacher — also released their own YouTube video, asking his captors “to show mercy and use their power to let our son go”.
On Wednesday, the couple attended a prayer vigil for their son at his alma mater, Butler University in Indianapolis, according to the newspaper. Hundreds of people joined the gathering, which was sponsored by the university’s Muslim Student Association.
A former US Army Ranger assigned to Iraq, Kassig set up an aid organization in 2012 to provide medical and other supplies to refugees in Lebanon and Syria, the report said.
In June, he wrote to his parents from captivity, expressing sadness at the situation. “I am obviously pretty scared to die but the hardest part is not knowing,” he wrote. “I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through.”
Kassig’s parents’ appeal on YouTube:
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