Leader of ISIS Reportedly Raped an American Hostage

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Photo: Courtesy of Mueller Family

Kayla Mueller, an American held hostage by ISIS for more than two years until her death in February, was repeatedly raped by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

“We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi,” Mueller’s parents told ABC News. “We were told that in June by the government.”

Carl and Marsha Mueller received a letter from Kayla — a humanitarian aid worker captured in Syria on August 3, 2013 — in which she said she was “completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness.”

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Just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have ‘suffered’ at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness … I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it. All my everything, Kayla.

At one point, according to The New Yorker, a Qatari official claimed that “Kayla has converted and is married. She is happily living with a family and doesn’t want to come home.”

Mueller lived at the house of Abu Sayyaf, a senior ISIS official, during part of her captivity. When Baghdadi visited Sayyaf, which he often did, he would also rape Mueller. Sayyaf was killed by American forces in May; ISIS claims that Mueller was killed by a Jordanian air strike on February 10, something that U.S. officials have disputed. Mueller’s captors sent photos of her dead body to her parents so they would have proof she was gone. She would have turned 27 today.

At one point, according to The New Yorker, a Qatari official claimed that “Kayla has converted and is married. She is happily living with a family and doesn’t want to come home.”

Mueller lived at the house of Abu Sayyaf, a senior ISIS official, during part of her captivity. When Baghdadi visited Sayyaf, which he often did, he would also rape Mueller. Sayyaf was killed by American forces in May; ISIS claims that Mueller was killed by a Jordanian air strike on February 10, something that U.S. officials have disputed. Mueller’s captors sent photos of her dead body to her parents so they would have proof she was gone. She would have turned 27 today.

A report from the New York Times published on Thursday showed that ISIS has made rape a recruiting tool. Leaders justify treating Yazidi women and girls as sex slaves with theology and detailed memos. One ISIS pamphlet noted that “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty, if she is fit for intercourse.”

The wife of Abu Sayyaf — who was captured in the raid that killed her husband — was held by U.S. authorities for nearly three months, and reportedly provided useful intelligence on the Islamic State. Umm Sayyaf allegedly played a role in Mueller’s kidnapping, but was recently transferred to Kurdish custody instead of being tried in the U.S. An official told The Wall Street Journal last week“We have a firm belief that she will be held to account for her crimes, though we cannot guarantee any particular result.”

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Leader of ISIS Reportedly Raped American Hostage