14:10 17 November 2014
The beheading of US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig at the hands of Islamic State extremists has been condemned as "pure evil" by American president Barack Obama.
Obama stated that Kassig was: "taken from us in an act of pure evil by a terrorist group that the world rightly associates with inhumanity.
"Today we grieve together, yet we also recall that the indomitable spirit of goodness and perseverance that burned so brightly in Abdul-Rahman Kassig."
Officials at the White House confirmed that a video showing a masked man standing over dead man's severed head depicted 26-year-old Abdul-Rahman Kassig.
Kassig was taken hostage while working for a refugee group and is now the fifth western hostage to be publicly executed by IS. The terror group now controls significant areas in Syria and Iraq.
Originally named Peter Kassig before converting to Islam late last year, Abdul-Rahman Kassig was a former US Army Ranger who toured Iraq in 2007. His work as an emergency medial technician spurred him into founding an aid organisation to supply Syrian refugee camps. While travelling in eastern Syria in October 2013, he was kidnapped.
His parents paid tribute: "We are incredibly proud of our son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling."