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    * Kayla Mueller *

    کایلا مولر

    (Wikipedia) - Kayla Mueller This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 19 February 2015. Kayla Jean Mueller Born Died Nationality Occupation Home town
    August 14, 1988
    c. February 6, 2015 (aged 26) Syria
    Human rights activist, humanitarian aid worker
    Prescott, Arizona, U.S.

    Kayla Jean Mueller (August 14, 1988 – c. February 6, 2015) was an American human rights activist and humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona. She was taken captive in August 2013 in Aleppo, Syria, while leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital.

    Media had long reported that a 26-year-old American aid worker was being held by the Islamic State (ISIS), without naming her at her family''s request. Her captivity and death was widely reported upon confirmation of her death.


    Activism and humanitarian aid

    Mueller was a native of Prescott, Arizona, where she graduated from Tri-city College Prep High School. She attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff in 2007. She supported a variety of causes at home and abroad, in various areas and with many different services including humanitarian aid, human rights, youth mentorship, environmental activism, journalism, and English teaching. Her human rights activism and humanitarian aid included working in India with Tibetan refugees, supporting Tibet cause. Her work in the Middle East included volunteering for Palestinian humanitarianism with the International Solidarity Movement and helping African refugees in Israel with the African Refugees Development Center.

    Her activism and humanitarian aid involved work with the following organizations:

    Capture and death

    Mueller started working in southern Turkey in December 2012, where she was assisting Syrian refugees. On August 3, 2013, she drove to the northern Syrian city of Aleppo with a coworker/friend who was traveling to the Spanish Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo to work for a day. She worked with international aid agency Support to Life. On her departure from Aleppo to return to Turkey, militants abducted her.

    According to anonymous sources of American reporter Catherine Herridge, the location of Mueller and other American hostages was known by the White House in May 2014, but a decision on a rescue mission was not made for seven weeks. By that time, the hostages had been dispersed.

    A media account affiliated with ISIS released a statement on February 6, 2015 claiming that a female American hostage held by the group was killed by one of around a dozen Jordanian airstrikes in Raqqa, Syria. The statement came just days after the release of a video showing the burning of Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh by the militant group and the subsequent execution of Sajida al-Rishawi and other prisoners of Jordan. The statement was later translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, identifying the hostage as Mueller.

    Mueller had been in ISIS custody for 18 months. A US mission to rescue her and several others in northern Syria in July 2014 failed when ISIS moved the prisoners. The US was unaware of her location since, though her family was told negotiations were underway to swap her for Aafia Siddiqui, according to Arizona House Representative Paul Gosar. ABC News and CBS News reported that sources in the intelligence community believe Mueller may have been "given over" to an ISIS commander in a "forced marriage" and the group did not view her as a bargainable hostage. In a letter to her family, she spoke of being healthy, well-fed and treated with the utmost kindness and respect in a safe place. ISIS members corresponding with the Muellers referred to Kayla as their "guest".

    On February 6, 2015, ISIS published a photo of a damaged building, named Mueller and her home town and alleged she had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in the building where she was left alone with no guards, but no proof of death was provided. The Pentagon agreed the building was one hit in the bombings, but disputed that Mueller, or any civilian, was inside. The site had been bombed by the coalition twice before, and was targeted again because ISIS soldiers sometimes return to bombed sites, thinking the coalition won''t return, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. After this, Mueller''s name was released by American and other media with the family''s consent.

    On February 10, 2015, Mueller''s family announced ISIS had confirmed her death to them in an e-mail, with three photographs of her dead body, bruised on the face and wearing a black hijab. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said this message was authenticated by the intelligence community. President Barack Obama offered his condolences to Mueller''s family.

    Reactions Family

    Mueller''s parents reportedly implored ISIS to contact them as they hoped their daughter may still be alive. "We have sent you a private message and ask that you respond to us privately", Carl and Marsha Mueller said in a statement. They said they had not talked to the media as ISIS warned them not to.


    An American official cautioned that without proof of Mueller''s death, the statement by ISIS could be a ploy to cause the Jordanians and the rest of the American-led coalition to refrain from any heavier airstrikes.

    Jordan''s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh called ISIS''s claim "an old and sick trick" on Twitter. "So they behead innocent #US #UK & Japan hostages & BURN a brave #Jordan pilot ALIVE & now a hostage is killed by an airstrike? Sure! Sick!", he said. He further tweeted: "An old and sick trick used by terrorists and despots for decades: claiming that hostages human shields held captive are killed by air raids." Later upon confirmation of Mueller''s death he tweeted: "Saddened & angered to hear news confirming killing of #US hostage #kaylaMueller. Yet another ugly example of these terrorists'' brutality."

    After many Western news outlets cast doubt on the claim of the hostage death and the extremists'' ability to identify Jordanian and U.S. made F-16s flying at high altitudes, Jordan dismissed the claim of a killed hostage as an ISIS publicity stunt and a lie, as the group is known for its propaganda techniques.

    After Mueller''s family confirmed her death, President Obama said " 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." U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement saying "ISIL, and ISIL alone, is the reason Kayla is gone."

    The Pentagon declined to investigate whether Mueller was killed by the coalition airstrike. Policy dictates the US only investigates reports of civilian casualties when they come from a "credible source", which ISIS is not.


    Time magazine named Kayla Mueller as an ideal role model for Millennials, citing her selfless desire to end suffering, her activism, and her humanitarian aid work, praising her desire not to be seen, but to genuinely help people, and lauding her possession of Millennials'' positive good qualities of idealism, optimism, and love of families without troublesome qualities also associated with the Millennial generation.

    Tags:2015, ABC, ABC News, African, Aleppo, American, Amnesty International, Arizona, Barack Obama, Bernadette Meehan, CBS, Community, Doctors Without Borders, Foreign Minister, French, Guantanamo, Guatemala, ISIS, India, Islamic, Israel, Japan, John Kerry, John Kirby, Jordan, Kayla Mueller, Life, Media, Middle East, National Security Council, Obama, Palestinian, Pentagon, President, Refugees, Security Council, Syria, Syrian, Tibet, Turkey, Twitter, UK, US, United States, White House, Wikipedia

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