Kayla Mueller was an American humanitarian who was killed by the Islamic State in 2015 after being kidnapped and held hostage, according to The Guardian. She had traveled to Turkey in 2012 and then to Syria to help Syrian refugees who were affected by the country’s civil war. She was kidnapped in 2013 while leaving the Doctors Without Borders hospital, the Washington Post reported.
In February of 2015, ISIS claimed that Mueller was killed by a Jordanian airstrike that bombed the building where she was being held captive. The Jordanian government has denied being involved in Mueller’s death, according to The Post.
So what really happened to Mueller? Here’s what you need to know:
Other Hostages Claimed That Mueller Was a Sex Slave & Forced to Marry IS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Two women who were held hostage along with Mueller gave graphic accounts of what happened to them while they were held captive. The two women, called Dalal and Susan, told the BBC that Mueller told them that she was tortured by members of the Islamic State because they wanted her to admit that she was a spy. She was forced to watch beheadings of other captured Americans, had her fingernails ripped out and was repeatedly raped by the Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. They said that while being held captive al-Baghdadi forced her to marry him.
Why Was Mueller Killed?
“We killed her because she is an American,” the hostage, named Amshe, recalled to BBC that Mutazz said. “If Obama wanted to, he could tell Bashar [al-Assad, the Syrian president] to stop bombing us. Ten of our women and children die every day. This is our revenge. We will kill any American citizen we capture. If any Western government refuses to put pressure on Bashar, we will kill their citizens too.”
The Mueller Family Hired a Private Investigator
Mueller’s parents, Carl and Marsha, sought help from a former FBI agent who investigated Al-Qaeda to help uncover more facts about their daughter’s killing. According to the New York Times, the former investigator Ali Soufan spoke to close associates of the Islamic state’s members and gathered pertinent information. The wife of one of al-Baghdadi’s lieutenants told Soufan that al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State’s spokesperson Abu Muhammad al-Adnani killed Mueller because she knew their identities and it could be a liability for them. The Times reported that Soufan’s notes read : “When she inquired with Abu Sayyaf as to why they would kill her, Abu Sayyaf reluctantly said it was because she knew the identity of al-Adnani and Baghdadi, and this was a security issue for them.”
In 2018, two British men who participated in keeping Mueller hostage, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, were arrested and interviewed by American police. The Times reported that they gave them information about where American hostages were buried but they didn’t recover Mueller’s body. Her body has still not been found and there have not been any explicit details about how she was killed.
Mueller’s mother shunned the Obama Administration for not being as “decisive” about her daughter’s disappearance and death as the Trump Administration.
“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller told Arizona Central. “For me, what matters most, I’m hoping now we will finally get the answers we have been asking for all along. I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened.”