February 6, 2015
Kayla Mueller Killed In Syria? American Hostage Held By ISIS Drawn To Helping Others

Unconfirmed reports that Kayla Mueller, the American hostage held by ISIS, has been killed in a Jordanian airstrike surfaced on Friday.

The news, which has not been independently corroborated, conveniently comes after Jordan's King Abdullah promised that new air campaign is "just the beginning" in his country's response to the barbaric killing of one of its pilots by ISIS terrorists. The U.S. Department of State is refusing to verify the group's statement claiming the hostage was killed during the bombing.

News organizations are working to determine whether it is true or just another of ISIS' propaganda statements. Mueller's family authorized the release of the 26-year-old aid worker's name. She was kidnapped in Syria in August of 2013 and not much is known about her captivity.

Kayla Jean Mueller had gone to Turkey to help people in the region, but then the Syrian civil war broke out and in a video, she condemned the atrocities committed by the Syrian government. While in Syria, she worked with refugees and made news when she helped a father find his six-year-old son after an airstrike, the Prescott Daily Courant reported.

"A man searching for his Syrian family after their refugee camp in Turkey was bombed was reunited with a 6-year-old relative thanks to Prescott resident Kayla Mueller."

"After looking frantically for missing family members, he eventually found an 11-year-old girl alive at a hospital, but learned his wife had died, and could not find the boy. The man turned to Mueller, who works in Turkey with the international humanitarian aid agency Support to Life. He gave her a video image of the boy, and she later found him after he came out of surgery at another hospital."

At the time, Kayla Mueller spoke about her experience with the Prescott Kiwanis Club, where her father Carl Mueller is a member. The young woman also expressed her desire to help those in need and being frustrated that "she can't do enough."
"This story is not rare in Syria. This is the reality for Syrians two and a half years on. When Syrians hear I'm an American, they ask, 'Where is the world?' All I can do is cry with them, because I don't know."
Kayla Mueller was drawn to help in Syria by stories of children being hurt by unexploded bombs, women being forced into early marriages, and children being forced to fight for both sides. Reports of families being displaced and forced to lives in caves greatly disturbed the young woman.

"Syrians are dying by the thousands, and they're fighting just to talk about the rights we have," Mueller said.

This is the tweet in which ISIS claims Kayla Mueller was killed in Syria, after Jordanian fighter jets pounded the area.

The U.S. intelligence community is looking closely at ISIS' claims that Kayla Mueller has been killed in an airstrike in Syria, but according to Catherine Herridge of Fox News, officials have the ability to determine whether the claims are true or false.

[Image via Facebook]