Former Ranger discusses latest ISIS captive Peter Kassig

Former Ranger discusses latest ISIS captive Peter Kassig
Peter Kassig (Credit: Kassig family)
Peter Kassig (Credit: Kassig family)

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - The family of Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger who trained at Fort Benning in 2006, released a YouTube video Saturday asking his captors to let him go.

ISIS threatened to behead Kassig on Friday in a video that appears to show the execution of British aid worker Alan Henning.

The couple calls his son Abdul-Rahman Kassig, the name Peter Kassig adapted when he converted to Islam while being held hostage since 2013.

Kassig was captured by militants in Lebanon in October 2013 while working on the organization he created to help the victims of war. It's called Special Emergency Response and Assistance, also known as SERA.

Kassig served in the 75th Ranger Regiment but he was discharged by medical reasons. However, he returned to the Middle East as a medical assistant to help those in need.

Retired Colonel Paul Longgrear is a former Special Force Ranger. He served many years at Fort Benning and Fort Bragg and he retired in Honduras in 1991.

"I can see why many people nationwide and worldwide might be upset with this situation," Longgrear explained. "When they capture Americans, especially former Rangers, many are going to be upset. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger. This young man is in trouble and in harm's way."

Ed and Paula Kassig asked those holding onto Peter Kassig to release him in their video.

"We implore his captors to show mercy and use their power to let our son go," Ed Kassig says in his YouTube video.

Longgrear says he hopes the training Kassig received during his Ranger days will give him strength and courage.

"I don't know this young man's story and I'm not trying to speak for him," Longgrear said. "But if he is a former Ranger, and I understand he is, then he's probably working on a plan to make something happen. I'll be honest; I'm not going to panic. There were days when I didn't know if I was going to be alive an hour later or not. But that is when your training kicks in. I don't mean to sound mean and heartless, but the Ranger school and Special Forces training will prepare you, and you learn to put your life on your line. However, I think we need to be concerned with what's going on. We need to help our own."

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