An online video released Friday shows an Islamic State group fighter beheading British hostage Alan Henning, a former taxi driver who was taken captive while travelling with an aid convoy.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Friday on Twitter, “The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric these terrorists are. My thoughts are with his wife and their children”.
Henning, 47, nicknamed “Gadget,” had joined an aid convoy and was taken captive on December 26th, shortly after crossing the border between Turkey and Syria.
In a statement, the British Foreign Office said it was working to verify the video.
“If true, this is a further disgusting murder,” the statement read. “We are offering the family every support possible; they ask to be left alone at this time.”
Britain has been supporting U.S. military efforts against the Islamic State group by using its forces to help with logistics and intelligence gathering, as well as by recently taking part in airstrikes in Iraq.
The video was released the same day that Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada has offered to contribute an air combat mission to the fight against ISIS, in addition to the deployment of military advisers who are assisting in Iraq.
Canada is offering a six-month air combat mission, but no ground troops, to fight Islamic jihadists in the Mideast, according to a motion tabled in the House of Commons today.
The Prime Minister’s Office said Canada is offering up to six CF-18 fighter jets to the mission, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and the necessary air crews and support personnel, as well as one dedicated airlift plane to enhance the refuelling, air surveillance and transportation capacity of coalition members.
At the end of the video an Islamic State fighter then named the group’s next victim — Abdul-Rahman (formerly Peter) Kassig, an Indianapolis native and former Butler University student.
A spokeswoman for the Kassig family on Friday confirmed that their son was taken captive on Oct. 1, 2013, while doing humanitarian work in Syria. Kassig’s parents, Ed and Paula, declined to be interviewed, but issued a statement:
“The Kassig family extends our concern for the family of Alan Henning (the latest ISIS beheading victim). We have read about his work and his generous character with great respect and admiration. We ask everyone around the world to pray for the Henning family, for our son, and for the release of all innocent people being held hostage in the Middle East and around the globe.”