U.S. intelligence officials told the family of American hostage Kayla Mueller that she was repeatedly forced to have sex with Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
“They told us that he married her, and we all understand what that means,” Carl Mueller, Kayla’s father, told The Associated Press last week, which would have been his daughter’s 27th birthday. Her death was reported in February.
Her mother, Marsha Mueller, added, “Kayla did not marry this man. He took her to his room and he abused her and she came back crying.”
Islamic State financier Abu Sayyaf and his wife, known as Umm Sayyaf Mueller, held Mueller captive for a time. Al-Baghdadi then took Mueller as a “wife,” repeatedly raping her when he visited, according to a Yazidi teenager who was held with Mueller and escaped in October 2014 to Iraqi Kurdistan. In November 2014, the 14-year-old talked to U.S. commandos and intelligence agencies corroborated her account. American officials passed the information on to Mueller’s parents in June.
The Muellers said American officials told them that Umm Sayyaf, during a lengthy interrogation in Iraq, also confirmed that al-Baghdadi had “owned” Kayla.
A U.S. official confirmed the Muellers’ account, first reported by London’s Independent newspaper. The official was not authorized to be quoted by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Mueller was held with three other women, all Yazidis, the Muellers were told. All were sexually abused. When al-Baghdadi visited, he would take Mueller to his room, the witness told American officials. She would tell her fellow captives—sometimes tearfully—what had happened.
“Kayla tried to protect these young girls,” Marsha Mueller said. “She was like a mother figure to them.”
When the 14-year-old Yazidi girl escaped with her sister, she asked Mueller to accompany her, the parents were told, but Kayla Mueller refused, worrying that her obvious Western appearance would lead to their capture.
By the time the Yadizi escapee reported the situation to Delta Force commandos in Iraq, Mueller had been moved, her parents were told.
Mueller, from Prescott, Ariz., was taken hostage with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani, in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria, where he had been hired to work on the internet service for the hospital. Mueller asked him to let her go with him because she wanted to do relief work in Syria. Alkhani was released after two months, having been beaten.
The Islamic State group claimed Mueller was killed in a Jordanian air strike near Raqqah, the group’s self-declared capital in Syria. U.S. officials confirmed the death but not the circumstances.
Courtesy: WORLD News Service
Publication date: August 31, 2015