A short video released by ISIS on Friday shows the apparent beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning.
Before he is killed, Henning speaks to the camera, referencing the British Parliament’s decision to join the bombing campaign against ISIS. At the end of the video, ISIS shows an American aid worker, Peter Kassig, and threatens his life.
There is no reason to believe that the video is not authentic, a U.S. intelligence official told CNN, adding that U.S. officials are studying it.
A taxi driver from near Manchester, England, Alan Henning was part of a team of volunteers that traveled to Syria in December 2013 to deliver food and water to people affected by the Middle Eastern country’s devastating civil war.
He was abducted the day after Christmas by masked gunmen, according to other people in the aid convoy.
“The brutal murder of Alan Henning by ISIL shows just how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are,” UK Prime Minister David Cameron said, referring to the terror group also known as ISIL.
“Alan had gone to Syria to help get aid to people of all faiths in their hour of need,” Cameron said. “The fact that he was taken hostage when trying to help others and now murdered demonstrates that there are no limits to the depravity of these ISIL terrorists.”
The Prime Minister vowed to bring the killers to justice.
Last week, the British Foreign Office released an audio file of Henning pleading for his life. His wife made a public plea for ISIS to spare his life.
Barbara Henning’s pleas were joined by voices of Muslim leaders around the world.
They included Shaykh Haitham Al Haddad, a judge on the Shariah Council in London, who has said that “whatever your grievance with American or British foreign policy, executing this man is not the answer.”
But the calls for mercy appear to have been met with bloodshed. If the authenticity of the video is confirmed, Henning will be the fourth Westerner to be beheaded on camera by ISIS.
This summer, ISIS beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff — showing their gruesome killings in videos posted online. ISIS then claimed its first British victim, aid worker David Haines, according to video that appeared online on September 13.
Henning’s beheading comes shortly after Britain joined the U.S.-led military effort against ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.
British jets began flying reconnaissance flights over Iraq a week ago, and on Tuesday dropped its first missiles on an ISIS heavy-weapon position and an armed pickup truck in Iraq, according to the UK Defense Ministry.