Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old American hostage held captive by the ISIS since 2013 is dead. Mueller’s family has apparently received confirmation about her death a few minutes ago.
According to Newsweek, Mueller’s family has confirmed her death and has released a statement to the media which read, “We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life. 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.”
It was last week that the Islamic State first claimed that Kayla was killed after Jordan carried out an airstrike against them on Friday. It remains unclear if she was indeed killed in that air strike, since there was no definitive proof to back up the Islamic State’s claim. In fact, the only evidence the ISIS had was the image of a building in rubble, in which they say Kayla was housed.
Earlier on Monday, people from Kayla’s hometown expressed solidarity with her family with signs praying for her safe return. According to AZ Central, a vigil was also held at Arizona State University in Tempe on Monday night for all the victims that have been abducted by the Islamic State since the Syrian war began in 2011.
Kayla Mueller was abducted by ISIS in 2013 – after she went to Syria to help the people in the country affected by the civil war. Earlier, the humanitarian activist in Kayla had led her to several camps in northern India, Israel and Palestinian territories, reports CNN. This was just after she had graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009.
She had returned briefly to Arizona in 2011 and volunteered to work at an HIV/AIDS clinic before heading out to France and eventually to Syria. Kayla was working with the Danish Refugee Council and the humanitarian organization Support to Life near the Turkish Syria border when she was apparently abducted by fighters of the Islamic State. Before her abduction, Kayla had also appeared in a video that showed her protesting against the Syrian regime.
“I am in solidarity with the Syrian people. I reject the brutality and killing that the Syrian authorities are committing against the Syrian people,” Kayla had said in the video.
For over a year, Katla’s family heard nothing from her. It was only in August 2014 they received a communication from ISIS that demanded a $7 million ransom in lieu of her release. The Islamic State threatened to kill her if their demands were not met. However, it is unclear what happened after that, and no one heard anything about her for over six more months.
Kayla Mueller made it back to the headlines following the recent brutal killings of two Japanese hostages and the death of Jordanian pilot Moath al- Kasasbeh, who was burned alive by the ISIS. Following Kasasbeh’s killing, the Jordanian army embarked on a relentless campaign to destroy ISIS strongholds in Raqqa, their de-facto capital city. It is during one of these Jordanian air raids that the ISIS claimed Kayla Mueller was killed.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.
[Image Via NBC News]