CNN reported on Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials spoke to them in condition on anonymity that there are intelligence reports that Mueller may have been an ISIS bride when she was being held by the extremist terrorist group the Islamic State.
Kayla Mueller was a 26 year old American humanitarian aid worker who was working in Syria in August, 2013, when she was abducted by the jihadists while returning from work at a Doctors Without Borders Hospital. Since that time, ISIS chose to communicate privately with her family and urged them not to go public about her captivity or she would be killed. At one point, they demanded $7 million for her release.
Last weekend, reports broke about who Kayla Mueller was, and the fact that ISIS claimed she had been killed in airstrikes from Jordan, which were a result of ISIS burning alive a Jordanian pilot they were holding captive. Many people, including U.S. intelligence, do not believe that is how she died. The Islamic State did confirm her death on Tuesday in a private message to her parents, including photos, who took that information to the government and media. Government experts stated the photos were credible and Kayla was determined dead at that time.
While some reports claim that Mueller had written letters that she had been “treated well” during her captivity, the authenticity of those letters has not been validated.
The intelligence official said that information is uncertain on whether she was “coerced, sold, or forced” into being an ISIS bride. However, the National Security Council made a statement that that report was false and debunked the claim that she had ever been given as an ISIS bride. Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told the media through this statement that the report was not proven.
“Reports that have been published by certain news outlets regarding Kayla’s time in (ISIS) captivity are speculative and unproven at this time. The US government continues to analyze any information regarding Kayla’s captivity but has not corroborated any of the multiple theories regarding the conditions throughout the duration of her captivity.”
When ISIS claimed Kayla had died, they produced a photo that showed a dwelling reduced to rubble from an airstrike and claimed that was where Kayla was being held. However, photos that were confirmed to be the body of Kayla Mueller showed bruises on her body, and experts agree that the condition of her body did not look consistent with injuries received from a building that had been flattened.