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649848 tn?1534633700

Parents of American woman held by IS notified of her death

Feb 10, 11:09 AM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) — Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old American woman held by Islamic State militants, has been confirmed dead, her parents and the Obama administration said Tuesday.

The White House said that Mueller's family received a private message from her captors over the weekend and the information contained in that communication was authenticated by the U.S. intelligence community. It was not immediately clear how and when Mueller died.

"We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life," Carl and Marsha Mueller 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 said that Mueller, who was an aid worker who assisted humanitarian organizations working with Syrian refugees, "epitomized all that is good in our world."

"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," the president said.

The White House said Obama had spoken with Mueller's parents and offered his condolences and prayers.

Mueller, of Prescott, Arizona, is the fourth American to die while being held by Islamic State militants. Three other Americans — journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig — were beheaded by the group.

Journalist Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. It's not clear what entity is holding him, but it is not believed to be the Islamic State group or the Syrian government, his family has said.

Mueller was taken into captivity in August 2013 while leaving a hospital in Syria. Her identity was long kept secret out of fears for her safety.

On Friday, the Islamic State had claimed that Mueller died in a Jordanian airstrike. Jordan, which has launched a barrage of strikes in recent days in retaliation for the gruesome killing of one of its pilots at the hands of the militants, disputed that report and the White House said at the time that it had seen no evidence to corroborate the Islamic State claims.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. was "unshaken" in its resolve to defeat the Islamic State, a group he called an "ugly insult to the civilized world."

Republican Sen. John McCain, who represents Mueller's home state of Arizona, said, "The thoughts and prayers of the people of Arizona, America, and the civilized world are with the Mueller family at this terrible hour."

Mueller's family said she graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2011 after just two-and-a-half years. In December 2012, she traveled to the Turkish-Syrian border to work with several humanitarian groups, including Support to Life and the Danish Refugee Council.

Mueller had also worked for aid groups in India, Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as at an HIV/AIDS clinic and women's shelter in Arizona.

"We are so proud of the person Kayla was and the work that she did while she was here with us. She lived with purpose, and we will work every day to honor her legacy," Mueller's family said.
11 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
Why does everyone seem so nonchalant about this?  All we can offer is prayers and condolences?  Where's the outrage? Where's the determination to put an end to this kind of thing?  

I find this President to be the most spineless excuse for a leader I've ever seen... he does not deserve that title...
Avatar universal
He just wants to "compassion" ISIS into compliance with our desires.  
Avatar universal
I think most see this, but he can't risk offending anyone of Muslim faith. I think a lot have seen the picture of the King of Jordan not putting up with ISIS and actually doing something about it. Well Obama sits on his hands and does nothing. I see no reason that F-22's should not be making bombing missions several times a day from the air base in Diego Garcia.
649848 tn?1534633700
Well, of course, she wasn't black, nor was she Muslim so, apparently, she deserves little consideration beyond "prayers and condolences"... I find this so very disheartening.

Vance, you're right, we see the pictures of the King of Jordan not putting up with ISIS and he's actually out there leading his troops, not sitting in some big White House, merely "acting" like a king.  We should be making bombing missions on ISIS and should have been doing so from the time the first American life was taken by these barbarians yet Obama merely compares them to the Crusades... what a joke.  
Avatar universal
What a nation!  We spend months talking about thugs who are killed by cops while committing crimes and this is the first I heard of this woman?  I guess white people doing humanitarian efforts don't matter much.

On the other hand, I think you have to be severely brain damaged to go to that neck of the woods and do humanitarian work.  Those people do not like us, and if you don't know that you especially should not be going over there.
Avatar universal
148588 tn?1465778809
Everyone has an 'opinion'  on what should be done regardless of whether they have all the facts or not.


And you know what they say about opinions and 'onion rings'     *  *  *
148588 tn?1465778809
649848 tn?1534633700
I'm not surprised that there's another hostage in Syria and I doubt she will get out alive either, because we don't seem to be doing much to make it happen.

So now they're trying to say Ms Mueller "was" killed during the airstrike?  Amazing...

Whatever they say about opinions and onions rings - I supposed it's something like "dirty diapers are like politicians - they both stink..."  

Should we be surprised that ISIS is planning further attacks?  What I want to know is why are we not doing something to help stop it?
Avatar universal
"What I want to know is why are we not doing something to help stop it?"

If you think about it for a second, you will realize that you know the answer to that question.

I'm guessing if Mueller's parents spoke Arabic as well as Beau Bergdahl's dad does, Obama would at least invite them to the White House so they could quote the Quran or say something "positive" in Arabic.
317787 tn?1473358451
This is so sad, I agree, very little news coverage at all.  
I read the last letter home, she sounded like a very courageous young woman trying to do the right thing.
I am so sorry for her parents.
Thank you Barb
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