After Kayla Mueller and her boyfriend were kidnapped by ISIS in August of 2013, several rescue attempts were made, but in the end they all failed, according to U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ).
Gosar reveals one of the first attempts took place when a man arrived at the Islamic State terrorist camp, where she was being held in Syria, stating he was her husband and was demanding her immediate release. Unfortunately, Kayla was not in on the scheme and denied being married to anyone, losing the chance of being freed, USA Today reports.
Kayla Mueller rescue attempts followed her kidnapping when she was leaving a Doctors Without Borders facility in Syria in 2013. Gosar, who represents the district in which Mueller’s family lives, expressed frustration after news of her death were confirmed by her family and the White House.
“We’re half a world away with very limited resources… Finding a way to solve a problem is limited even for a member of Congress.”
ISIS or ISIL — as the terrorist group responsible for her death is also known — reportedly demanded $6 million from Kayla’s family in July of 2014. The Muellers appealed with President Obama to agree to a prisoner swap and former World War II prisoner, Senator John McCain, also of Arizona, flew to the region to meet with leaders to bring Kayla home. One of Gosar’s aides traveled to a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey, in a last-ditch effort to get leads as to the captive’s whereabouts.
The terrorists claim that Kayla Mueller was killed during one of Jordan’s airstrikes, which have increased since their pilot was burned alive by ISIS. King Abdullah has threatened that this is just “the beginning” of their offensive. However, U.S. intelligence has doubts that Kayla was at the locations bombed by Jordan.
Fox News also revealed details of Kayla Mueller’s captivity it had agreed to keep secret due to her precarious situation.
“A source with first-hand knowledge of the efforts to free Western hostages from ISIS told Fox News that Mueller and her Syrian boyfriend were kidnapped after being forced off the road in August 2013.
The Syrian man was eventually released. There initially was concern he may have been a plant to lure the American into a trap, but after he went back and pleaded with ISIS for Mueller’s freedom, the suspicion was discarded.
Between September 2013 and May 2014, the hostages were moved between Aleppo, an industrial area near the Turkish border, and Raqqa. The source said Kayla’s ISIS captors were so confident in their self-described capital of Raqqa that there was limited visible security. The Western hostages were often held in groups and by May had been in the same location for at least two weeks.
This is highly unusual because the practice is to move hostages on a regular basis to obfuscate their location.”
According to this source, Kayla Mueller was able to get a message to at least one male, western hostage saying she was not being mistreated by her captors. Kayla also related this to her parents in a 2014 letter they shared after her death was announced to the public.
A rescue mission was launched on July 4 of last year, but by that time it was too late, Fox says.
“By late May, specific intelligence had emerged on the hostage’s likely location — including a building, sources say. The intelligence was described to Fox News as ‘strong,’ ‘specific,’ and ‘perishable’ — but the White House did not sign off on the rescue operation until much later.”
The White House was asked about the time-lapse in the intelligence and the apparent lack of immediate action at the time. Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that U.S. forces acted as soon as the President and his national security team were convinced the rescue operation would be successful. This position is unchanged after Kayla’s death announcement.
During an interview with BuzzFeed, Obama confirmed that Kayla Mueller’s rescue was part of a failed raid this past summer and had issues with critics who say the White House did not do all in its power to free the 26-year-old aid volunteer.
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