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ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller’s death confirmed by family

ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller’s death confirmed by family

No details yet on the “how”

Last week, we reported on news out of Syria that 26 year-old humanitarian aid worker and ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller was killed during a Jordanian air strike. The State Department refused to confirm the message published by ISIS, and experts were quick to point out discrepancies in the group’s claim.

Today, however, Kayla’s family issued a statement to the media confirming the death of their daughter. They didn’t reveal how specifically they knew and were convinced of Kayla’s death, but a representative of the family told the press that they received additional communication from ISIS.

More from NBC News:

“We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life,” Mueller’s parents, Carl and Marsha, and brother Eric, said in a statement. “Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace.”

President Barack Obama expressed his “deepest condolences” to Mueller’s relatives.

“No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death,” he said in a statement calling ISIS a “hateful and abhorrent terrorist group.”

Secretary of State John Kerry said Mueller “represented everything good about the human spirit,” and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said “the world is united in condemning” ISIS’ “murder and imprisonment of innocents.”

“As we join Kayla’s family and loved ones in their grief, we also celebrate her selfless dedication to helping others,” he said in a statement. “Her compassionate spirit will never be forgotten.”

There seems to be little doubt this time surrounding the authenticity of the message. According to ABC News, intelligence officials examined the message and concluded that Kayla was deceased, but could not immediately confirm the “how” or “when.”

Kayla was the last remaining American held by ISIS in Syria; the group is now pushing a series of propaganda films featuring British journalist and hostage John Cantlie.


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May the God of all comfort help her family bear this unimaginable sorrow.

    I join in your prayer. I sincerely hope the means of her death are not released publicly. Those savages should not get the press. Her poor, poor parents.

Sammy Finkelman | February 10, 2015 at 1:29 pm

What could the confirmation be? A picture? It would have to be something that would not rebut their claim that she was not executed. They must be very interested in not aving people think they still have an American prisoner.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | February 10, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Yes, it is a picture.

    Contained in an e-mail from ISIS.

    No details, I think, about the picture have been released.

    I don’t know how a picture could prove her dead unless her head was separated from her body, or she was severely burnt.

Doug Wright Old Grouchy | February 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm

God Bless Kayla Mueller and her grieving family!

I only heard it in passing but what I did hear was unforgeable – I heard that this young lady wrote or said something like this:

~”God I see Your presence in the eyes of suffering children and if that is how You intend reveal Yourself to me, I will spend the rest of my life looking for you there”.

I wish I could remember it correctly or find it.

She was, like Rachel Corrie, allegedly, an anti-Israel anti-Semite who was in “solidarity” with the “suffering people of ‘Palestine’.” Amazing how that always works out negatively.

I’m sorry for her and her family, but Islam creates its hell wherever it is, and those who want to help the suffering children would do well to look in their own backyard.

How about that statement from Obama where he expressed regrets that he could not help Kayla Mueller. Curious. But Obama traded terrorists for Bowe Bergdahl. Hmph.

Why would anyone government or family or organization allow a young woman to go into this kind of situation? Their actions or non-actions in allowing this killed her as it is obvious she would be going among murders of the most vicious kind.

Sammy Finkelman | February 11, 2015 at 8:42 pm

Nobody “allowed” Kayla Mueller to go to Syria. By the middle of 2013, all international aid organizations, like Doctors without Borders, had a policy against employing Americans (and I think British citizens) in Syria, and not accepting any American volunteers. She got herself there anyway, at least for a day.

There was a certain person, possibly a boyfriend, or maybe just an acquaintance, or did he say fiance, who was sent to Syria to fix computers. To MSF’s total consternation, she tagged along for the ride, and they slept together, or in the same room or general location that night.

MSF planned to try to get her out of Syria safely. They arranged for her to go to the Aleppo bus station, but they were kidnapped along the way. Somebody knew I suppose, or the person(s) they hired betrayed them. The man was released a few months later, possibly ransomed – the story is a total blank.

Sammy Finkelman | February 16, 2015 at 3:28 pm

Kayla Mueller had a chance to be released, but didn’t take it, at least according to a story that appeared today on page 8 of the New York Post which also was carried by CBS News. Originally in the Mail.

The person she was captured with, Omar Alkhani, had told her that if they were captured she should claim to be his wife, because ISIS had a policy of not detaining the wife of a Moslem.

But when he claimed that, she denied that. The prison judge said she had said she wasn’t. When he asked her why, she was crying and said “I don’t know” And then he was jailed for two months.