Alan Henning made a statement in the video prior to being beheaded.
“I am Alan Henning. Because of our Parliament’s decision to attack the Islamic State I, as a member of the British public, will now pay the price for that decision,”
He is wearing the same orange jump suit as the other victims. Officials were in process of trying to authenticate the video. As part of the video, the next hostage was shown, an American and a militant threatens to execute him next.
U.K. Aid Worker Beheaded
The Islamic State beheaded Alan Henning, an aid worker, from the UK that went missing after Christmas last year. Mr. Henning was abducted after crossing into Syria from Turkey according to others in the aid convoy. Mr. Henning was a family man, a taxi driver and somebody that felt compelled to help ease the suffering of others. His wife had made an emotional televised plea for husband’s life along with some in the Muslim community. The pleas fell on deaf ears as the Islamic State committed its fourth beheading of a prisoner since killing James Foley on or about 19 August.
The Islamic State shows its next victim for beheading in the video as Peter Kassig, a former US Army Ranger that had deployed to Iraq in 2007. Mr. Kassig is from the Indianapolis, Indiana area and started his own aid organization called Special Emergency Response and Assistance (SERA). Mr. Kassig on LinkedIn lists him as the founder and Director of Operations at SERA (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/peter-kassig/74/743/884)
This video is slightly different as the background does not show the significant landmarks like the preceding videos of Foley, Sotloff and Haines. This shows the Islamic State continues to adapt to the retaliation by the international community. The Islamic State’s Al Hayat Media Center produces the high quality videos which is proof that the location is secure enough and has all the technological capability the terror organization requires.
Assessment: The Islamic State holds a number of foreigners hostage, most of which are aid workers, but some are likely journalists. In the ending of the video just as in the previous three another hostage is shown in what is “you’re next” segment of the video. This also makes it highly likely that the videos are filmed in segments, a recorded confession/blaming of hostage’s government, the executioner’s words/threats, the mock execution and then the display of the next victim. The executions themselves likely do not take place at the time of the first sections of the segment which explains how calm both victims are.
A Statement followed from the White House:
“The United States strongly condemns the brutal murder of United Kingdom citizen Alan Henning by the terrorist group ISIL,” the statement said. “Mr. Henning worked to help improve the lives of the Syrian people and his death is a great loss for them, for his family and the people of the United Kingdom. Standing together with our UK friends and allies, we will work to bring the perpetrators of Alan’s murder – as well as the murders of Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines – to justice. Standing together with a broad coalition of allies and partners, we will continue taking decisive action to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.”