Following Islamic State's (ISIS) brutal murder of Peter Kassig, documented in a horrific video circulated Sunday, a 26-year-old female aid worker is the last of the terror organization's American prisoners.
The information comes from current and former United States officials, as well as individuals involved in efforts to free American prisoners from ISIS's clutches, The Daily Beast reported.
The woman, the same age as Kassig was, was likewise kidnapped trying to help refugees of the long Syrian civil war. She was particularly involved in helping children orphaned and/or separated from their families.
She was taken hostage in August 2013 along with a group of other volunteer aid workers, who have reportedly have been released.
No news organizations have published the woman's name, due to requests from both US officials and her family not to disclose her identity, who fear publicity and further attention will put the American hostage's life in greater risk.
Despite this, the general circumstances of her capture and her captivity have been widely known and reported for more than a year.
ISIS's intentions for its sole remaining American prisoner remain unclear. Current and formers US officials say it is noteworthy she did not appear in the video depicting Kassig's execution. ISIS has a pattern of filming the next hostage it intends to kill at the end of their grisly videos.
Although Islamic State has murdered Muslim women and children, it has never murdered a female Western captive on camera. It would signify a radical departure for a terror group - even one as violent and macabre as ISIS, who are well-known for their bloody propaganda.
A former US counterterrorism official said that before ISIS, who has already asked for an exorbitant ransom of $6 million for the woman, decides what to do, it will carefully consider any public reaction.
“Before they’re doing anything, they want to have a really good feel for how it will play,” the former official said.