October 17, 2021

Confirmed: American Hostage Killed While in Captivity of ISIS

The White House released a statement earlier today confirming American aid worker and ISIS abductee Kayla Mueller is deceased. Prayers:

It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller. On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family – her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family – and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief.Kayla dedicated her life to helping others in need at home and around the world. In Prescott, Arizona, she volunteered at a women’s shelter and worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic. She worked with humanitarian organizations in India, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, compelled by her desire to serve others. Eventually, her path took her to Turkey, where she helped provide comfort and support to Syrian refugees forced to flee their homes during the war. Kayla’s compassion and dedication to assisting those in need shows us that even amongst unconscionable evil, the essential decency of humanity can live on.

Kayla represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world. She said: “Here we are. Free to speak out without fear of being killed, blessed to be protected by the same law we are subjected to, free to see our families as we please, free to cross borders and free to disagree. We have many people to thank for these freedoms and I see it as an injustice not to use them to their fullest.”

“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 statement went on to say. The New York Times, meanwhile, has some additional information about how she was killed:

The parents of Kayla Mueller, the American aid worker abducted in 2013 by the Islamic State, issued a statement Tuesday confirming her death, four days after the militant group claimed she had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike.The family, which had publicly maintained hope that she was still alive after the Islamic State said she had been killed but had offered no proof, did not indicate how they knew of their daughter’s death.

Here’s part of the family statement:

“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.”The statement from Mueller’s family did not elaborate on how it had learned of Mueller’s death or the circumstances behind it.

This is heartbreaking and a terrible tragedy. Mueller traveled to some of the world’s most dangerous places as a humanitarian to alleviate suffering and bring joy to the hopeless. She was reportedly kidnapped “while leaving a hospital,” of all places. And while she was reportedly killed in an airstrike, according to various media reports, that’s impossible to confirm at this time.

Mueller was 26-years-old and is the fourth known American to be killed while languishing in ISIS captivity.