Former Butler student Peter Kassig, 26, has been identified as a captive in a video released by Islamic extremist organization ISIS.
A video of British aid worker Alan Henning’s beheading was released earlier today by ISIS. The video also shows Kassig, whose life was threatened at the end of the video.
Kassig attended Butler in the Spring of 2011 to 2012 and majored in political science.
Kassig, a U.S. Army veteran, was deployed to Iraq in 2007. He was an Army Ranger.
He left Butler and started an international aid organization called Special Emergency Response and Assistance. He did humanitarian work in Lebanon, Turkey and Syria aiding refugees fleeing conflict in Syria.
Kassig’s parents confirmed to media outlets that their son was being held captive in Syria.
Butler released an initial press release to The Collegian shortly after 6 p.m.
“Peter Kassig was a student at Butler University from spring 2011 to 2012, majoring in political science,” the release read. “Since his time at Butler, Peter has dedicated his life to humanitarian work in the Middle East. The thoughts and prayers of the Butler University community are with Peter and his family.”
University President James Danko sent a campus-wide email at 7:36 p.m.
The email addressed the “terrible news,” and said that Kassig’s family has asked the community not to talk to the media.
The email provided links to stories about Kassig and today’s beheading.
The email ended saying “I am sorry to share this news and will share additional information as it becomes available. Please join me in keeping Peter and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., issued a statement on the situation, asking people to “respect the Kassig family’s privacy” and “for all Hoosiers to continue to keep Peter in their thoughts and prayers.”