Parents of ISIS Captive Killed Under Obama: If Trump Were President, She’d Be Here Today

The parents of Kayla Mueller – an aid worker abducted, tortured, and killed by the Islamic State – told the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Thursday that they believe her daughter would be alive today if President Donald Trump had been in charge when she was captured.

Islamic State terrorists abducted Carl and Marsha Mueller’s daughter in 2013 while she was in Syria working with the humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders, which the Muellers have criticized for not doing enough to help bring Kayla back. Upon being abducted and identified as a Westerner, ISIS jihadists placed Kayla into slavery. She became the property of Abu Sayyaf and wife Umm Sayyaf (“Umm” a common pseudonym for women jihadists meaning “mother”), where the “caliph” of the terrorist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped and tortured her.

A U.S. military raid in October resulted in al-Baghdadi’s death. Cornered by a military canine, al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide bomb, killing himself and three of his children.

“He died like a dog, he died like a coward,” President Donald Trump said at the time. “The world is now a much safer place.”

The mission to capture al-Baghdadi was named after Kayla.

Kayla Mueller is believed to have died in Raqqa, Syria – the “capital” of the Islamic State caliphate – in February 2015. ISIS terrorists claimed that a Jordanian airstrike targeting al-Baghdadi killed her, but have never presented any evidence corroborating that claim.

The Muellers recalled their daughter as “amazing,” with “a gift to be able to see the world through someone else’s eyes.” Marsha Mueller noted that Kayla’s existence was a sort of miracle, as doctors had told the couple they likely could not have conceived her.

They noted that her gift of empathy took her to Syria, where she was abducted and, they said, largely ignored by the incumbent Obama administration.

“Kayla was mostly held in a 12’ by 12’ cell in solitary confinement. It was cold and dirty. ISIS terrorists shined bright lights in her face. They shaved her head. They beat her and tortured her,” father Carl Mueller detailed. “The leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, raped her repeatedly. For 18 months, she endured. And we endured an agonizing back-and-forth between us, the Obama administration, and ISIS.”

“We put all our faith in the government. But our government let us down,” Carl Mueller lamented.

Carl Mueller then accused the Obama White House of delaying a mission that could have rescued his daughter and placing very little importance on the case.

“President Obama refused to meet with us until ISIS had already beheaded other Americans. To this day, we’ve never heard from Joe Biden,” Carl Mueller said. “Instead, the Obama administration hid behind policy so much that we felt hopeless when they kept us from negotiating to save Kayla’s life.”

“The administration showed more concern for the terrorists in Guantanamo than for the American hostages in Syria,” Carl noted pointedly. “The Obama administration kept telling us they were doing everything they could. But their version of ‘everything’ wasn’t enough. What a difference a president makes.”

Both Muellers wholeheartedly endorsed Trump.

“The Trump team gave us empathy we never received from the Obama administration. The Obama administration said it was doing everything it could. The Trump administration actually is,” Carl Mueller said.

“Let me just say this: Kayla should be here. If Donald Trump had been President when Kayla was captured, she would be here today,” Carl affirmed.

“Carl and I support Donald Trump because of his commitment to make and keep America great, not with the power of the government, but with the passion of people like Kayla — Americans who, even in the darkest days, always have more fight left inside of them,” Marsha Mueller said. “Americans who don’t just talk — they act. That was our daughter. That’s President Trump. As long as we stay strong like Kayla, as long as we refuse to break, we will be great.”

Marsha Mueller, while her husband held up a photo of Kayla, read a letter retrieved after her death from Syria that Kayla had written in captivity, highlighting the intensity of her faith.

“I have been shown in darkness, light and have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful … I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally at 25 years old come to realize your place in my life,” Kayla wrote. “None of us could have known it would be this long but know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able and I have a lot of fight left inside of me … I am not breaking down and I will not give in no matter how long it takes.”

Kayla Mueller was held for a time by Islamic State financier Abu Sayyaf and his wife Umm Sayyaf. Abu Sayyaf was killed in a 2015 raid, while Umm Sayyaf (real name Nasrin As’ad Ibrahim) was taken alive and charged by the FBI with imprisoning and torturing Mueller. According to the FBI affidavit, Mueller was personally raped by al-Baghdadi, who referred to her as his “wife,” while in the Sayyafs’ custody. Witnesses who knew Mueller in her captivity say she endured being al-Baghdadi’s sex slave as well as other torture, such as having her fingernails ripped out, in an attempt to get her to convert to Islam. Witnesses have affirmed her refusal to renounce her Christian faith.

Both Umm Sayyaf, captured by Kurdish fighters in 2015, and escaped ISIS sex slaves spoke highly of Kayla in custody, describing her as resolute and concerned about the wellbeing of the other women in captivity. Islamic State terrorists regularly abducted girls and women throughout Iraq and Syria to use in sex slavery, particularly non-Arab Muslim girls from Christian and Yazidi communities.

“She was a lovely girl and I liked her. She was very respectful and I respected her. One thing I would say is she was very good at hiding her sadness and pain,” Umm Sayyaf said in June 2019.

A teen Yazidi girl who endured sex slavery and knew Kayla Mueller in captivity said in 2015 that, when she and other Yazidis escaped, they tried to convince Mueller to flee with them, but she said that, as she was clearing an American white woman, she would be conspicuous and endanger their escape, so she stayed.

Under the Trump administration, a combined effort between the U.S. military and the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) brought down ISIS is Raqqa, its capital, ending the physical “caliphate” in 2017. ISIS in the Middle East is largely defeated, organizing sporadic attacks against Kurdish forces and largely relegated to Kurdish prisons. Many Islamic State terrorists fled abroad, making the group far stronger in places like Nigeria and the Philippines.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

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