7 Feb 2015:The parents of a 26-year-old woman who Islamic State extremists say has been killed in an airstrike in northern Syria have said in a statement addressed to group leaders that the claim of their daughter’s death concerned them but they were still hopeful she was alive.
Kayla Mueller, whose identity had previously not been revealed at the request of the U.S. government and her family as the Pentagon worked to secure her, is believed to be the last American hostage the terrorist army is holding, since the beheading of Peter Kassig, a 26-year-old American aid worker, killed in November. In its statement, ISIS also claimed Mueller was the only person killed in the airstrike, claiming none of its fighters injured or killed.
The Islamic State group said on Friday that Mueller of Prescott, Arizona, died in a Jordanian airstrike, but the government of Jordan dismissed the statement as “criminal propaganda” and the U.S. said it had not seen any evidence to corroborate the report.
If the death is confirmed, she would be the fourth American to die while being held by Islamic State militants. Three other Americans — journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig — were beheaded by the group.
“You told us that you treated Kayla as your guest, as your guest her safety and well-being remains your responsibility,” the statement from Mueller’s parents says.
Mueller is an aid worker who has previously volunteered with aid groups in India, Israel and the Palestinian territories. Her identity had not been disclosed until now out of rears for her safety. Her family said she was taken hostage by the Islamic State group on Aug 4, 2013, while leaving a hospital in Syria.