Divide and conquer?
The CIA is investigating claims that American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller was killed during Jordanian airstrikes in Syria.
Mueller, an American aid worker, was taken by ISIS a year and a half ago, and is believed to be the last American held hostage by the group.
Via the New York Times:
An Islamic State message published by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist activity, said the American woman was killed when the building where she was being held in the Raqqa area collapsed in an airstrike.
“The failed Jordanian aircraft killed an American female hostage,” said the message. “No mujahid was injured in the bombardment, and all praise is due to Allah.” Mujahid means fighter.
The group said the woman was killed by “fire of the shells dropped on the site.”
There was no immediate way to verify the claim by the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. But it identified the hostage by name, Kayla Jean Mueller, for the first time, and gave her Arizona address, apparently to add credibility to its message.
As was stated by the Times, this report is not confirmed. Department of Defense officials told NBC News that “U.S. military and military intelligence have no information to confirm ISIS’ claim, and the State Department said it could not confirm reports of the death ‘in any way'”:
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday: “I cannot confirm those reports in any way. Obviously people are looking into them, but cannot confirm them.” When asked if she knew if the hostage was alive, Harf said: “We’re just not going to get into specifics about Americans being held overseas.”
One senior defense official told NBC News “the entire intel community” in the U.S. government “lit up immediately at the ISIS claim and is attempting to gather the facts.” The official also said that if, in fact, the American woman has been killed it could be impossible to verify if was the result of an airstrike.
Jordan launched a series of attacks on Syria after reports surfaced of the burning death of pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh.
Is this ISIS’ attempt at a divide-and-conquer strategy to split the US and Jordan in our mutual war on terror? The media has already pointed out various discrepancies in the claim; but still, I suppose any stirring up of emotions by a group already so adept at capturing the world’s attention has the potential to affect global cooperation in the battle to defeat ISIS.
This story is developing; we’ll keep you updated.DONATE
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