WATCH: The video showing that ISIS beheaded 26-year-old aid worker Peter Kassig was not only the extremist group’s most gruesome, it was also the most revealing. Mike Drolet explains.
The fate of a 26-year-old American woman being held by ISIS remains unknown after the jihadist group murdered the only other known U.S. hostage.
With the release of a video showing the beheading of Peter Kassig, also known as Abdul-Rahman Kassig, and 18 purported Syrian government forces on Sunday, there has been renewed speculation about the woman’s whereabouts and what ISIS has in store for her.
Kassig was the fifth U.S. or British hostage to be killed since August and have video footage of his last moments posted online.
But, this video was different from the rest.
Not only does this video show that multiple men were savagely murdered at the hands of ISIS militants — some of them foreign fighters — there’s no indication if another hostage’s life is at risk.
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In previous video posts, in which the about-to-be victims clad in orange jumpsuits deliver scripted denouncements of their governments before being murdered, a presumed next victim was put before the camera with a warning that he would be next.
This was not the case with Sunday’s video.
Based on previous reports, including testimonies from former hostages whose government’s are believed to have paid exorbitant ransoms for their release — neither The U.S. nor the United Kingdom will pay ransoms to groups such as ISIS — the missing female aid worker and British photojournalist John Cantlie may be the only Western captives left.
Very little is known publicly about the captive female, other than she went missing in Syria in 2013.
Her name and the three aid agencies she was working with at the time of her kidnapping have been kept secret.
But the amount ISIS demands for her release is publicly known — US $6.6 million. That’s significantly less than the $132 million demanded for Foley’s release, prior to his beheading, but still a pricey amount for those without the means.
Like with Foley, there was also a demand for the release of U.S.-held Aafia Siddiqui — who was accused of being an al-Qaeda operative and is now serving an 86-year sentence in a Texas prison.
Cantlie has been seen in several ISIS propaganda videos. A freelance photojournalist, Cantlie was kidnapped in Syria two years ago along with American journalist James Foley — the first to be beheaded, in August.
Cantlie has been put into the role of ISIS reporter, appearing in six propaganda videos.
In a series called Lend Me Your Ears, Messages from the British Detainee John Cantlie, Cantlie criticizes British and American efforts to eradicate ISIS. In a separate video, Cantlie reported from the embattled Syrian town of Kobani and denounced Western media coverage of ISIS’ battle to take control of it.
But, Cantlie has not appeared in a video since Oct. 28.
Former captives, speaking to the New York Times, for an article published Oct. 25, say Cantlie and the unidentified female aid worker were among an original group of 23 captives, from 12 countries.
All but the U.S. and U.K. hostages were released.
Since Foley’s death in August, ISIS has executed U.S. freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid workers David Cawthorne Haines and Alan Henning, and Kassig.
With files from The Associated Press