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Analysis Shows American Hostage Peter Kassig Was Killed By a Gunshot Wound Before He was Beheaded

December 15, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Analysis Shows American Hostage Peter Kassig Was Killed By a Gunshot Wound Before He was Beheaded Image courtesy of fox59.com

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• Adds to Theory That He May Have Resisted Captors

American aid worker Peter Kassig, who was murdered by Islamic State terrorists or ISIS in Syria, may have been killed by a gunshot wound instead of being beheaded, according to the London Telegraph.

Medical experts who have conducted a thorough examination of the ISIS video, which purportedly shows Kassig’s severed head indicate that the former Army Ranger may have been shot dead first before being decapitated.

The report adds to the theories that Kassig, may have resisted his captors as they attempted to behead him in the same gruesome manner that they have done to previous captives.

The Kassig video had experts asking many questions because it was a change in course compared to previous videos released, which does not show the act being committed.

Many experts say the change suggests the jihadists may have had no use for footage showing Kassig resisting and would not utilize the video for their propaganda campaign.

According to the Telegraph, In examining the video, experts believe that Jihadi John, the British born terrorist responsible for the previous beheadings, who is shown standing in the Syrian desert with Kassig’s bloodied head at his feet, may have been superimposed into the scene, which means he may have not even been present during the execution of Kassig.

Intelligence officials have already revealed that the video was taken with Avid, which is an expensive and sophisticated film editing software package used by Hollywood studios to digitally alter real-life footage for special effects.

The report is scheduled to be published this week and was conducted by Quilliam, which is a British anti-extremist think-tank, along with the US-based Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium (TRAC).

Both groups conducted the examination with the help of surgeons and video experts.
Charlie Winter, who is a Research analyst at Quilliam, told The Telegraph: “We have had a senior face and neck surgeon independently look at some of the screenshots we took.
His initial assessment was that a contusion (a bruise) above Mr. Kassig’s left eye was a gunshot wound. Closer analysis of the wound reinforced that initial assessment, leading him to believe that the wound was probably the cause of death, rather than beheading.”

Mr. Winter added that a forensic digital analyst had also examined the footage of Mr. Kassig’s head, and concluded that the way the neck had been severed appeared to be “too clean to be from a straightforward beheading”.

Winter pointed out discrepancies in the footage, which suggests it was edited to make it look as if Jihadi John was the perpetrator standing in the desert with the head of Kassig at his feet. In particular. Winter also explains that the shadows casted by the sun appear to be inconsistent.

“The analyst categorically believes that the shadows were added, and added poorly,” Mr Winter said.

Also the actual footage of Kassig’s death was shown in a separate and longer propaganda video which included the mass killings of Syrian army officers ISIS fighters. Only Jihadi John is masked during the executions.

Quilliam and TRAC examination of the video indicates that Jihadi John may have used a body double in parts of the footage.

The extent ISIS goes to have Jihadi John either edited or digitally altered adds to the speculation that the Jihadist is used for propaganda purposes and they exaggerate the actual role the British born terrorist plays in the executions, with some claiming he may even have either already been killed or badly wounded during a US airstrike in the western Iraqi city of Qaim last month.

But Winter did air on the side of caution, saying: “It would be jumping to conclusions to assume that he has been killed or injured simply because some of the recent footage of him may have been edited.”

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