Obama: US aid worker Peter Kassig's beheading by Islamic State group 'pure evil'
After confirming the beheading of US aid worker Peter Kassig at the hands of the Islamic State group, President Barack Obama condemned it as "pure evil."
A video released by the Islamic State militants showed the beheading of Kassig, who took on the name of Abdul-Rahman after converting to Islam, and that of 18 men described as Syrian military personnel.
The 26-year-old was captured last year and was threatened in an October 3 video that showed the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.
President Obama said in a statement: "Abdul-Rahman was taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.
"Like Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff before him, his life and deeds stand in stark contrast to everything that the ISIL represents."
ISIL is also used to refer to the Islamic State group, which is also known as ISIS.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said that American government officials worked alongside Kassig's family to try to secure his release.
"During his time in captivity, his family, and the entire government... worked to avoid this tragic outcome," said Kerry.
Kassig founded aid group to provide medical aid to Syrians
Kassig's parents have requested that their son be remembered for his charity work.
"We prefer our son is written about and remembered for his important work and the love he shared with friends and family, not in the manner the hostage takers would use to manipulate Americans and further their cause."
Kassig founded an aid group through which he trained some 150 civilians to provide medical aid to people in Syria.
His group also gave food, cooking supplies, clothing and medicine to the needy.