The video was released Friday night. It mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq.
The video ended with an Islamic State fighter threatening a man they identified as American Peter Kassig. A U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concerns of not having permission to release the information, confirmed that Peter Kassig is being held by Islamic State militants. The official declined to elaborate.
Kassig, who was profiled in this CNN story from 2012, is a former Butler University student from Indiana. The New York Daily News reports Kassig served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2007 as an Army Ranger and was honorably discharged for medical reasons. He then began studying political science at Butler.
He went to Syria to do humanitarian work in 2012, then started SERA, a non-profit organization to provide aid to refugees of the violence in the Middle East.
A spokesperson for Kassig's family says he was abducted about a year ago, but the abduction had been kept quiet at the request of his captors. His family has been working behind the scenes for his release.
The Associated Press could not immediately verify the video's authenticity, though it was released in the same manner as other Islamic State group videos.