- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Friends of an Indiana man who has been threatened with beheading in Syria say he researched the region and knew the dangers before traveling to the Middle East.

Abdul-Rahman Kassig (AHB’-duhl RAHK’-muhn KAS’-ihg ) of Indianapolis was providing humanitarian relief to victims of the Syrian civil war when he was captured in October 2013.

An Islamic State group militant threatened to behead him in a video released Friday following the beheading of British hostage Alan Henning.

Kassig was born Peter Kassig but changed his name after converting to Islam while in captivity.

Friend Joe Dages of Louisville, Kentucky, tells The Associated Press that Kassig understood the risks but felt the good he could do in the Mideast outweighed the danger.

A prayer vigil for Kassig was scheduled Wednesday in Indianapolis.

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