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Kayla Mueller confirmed Dead

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by rocketsjudoka, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2007
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    It has been confirmed that Kayla Mueller who was held by ISIS is dead. It doesn't clarify how she died whether it was in a Jordanian airstrike as ISIS claims but Jordan denies.

    Kayla Mueller was only 26 and had volunteered to go to Turkey and Syria to help Syrian refugees during the war. She was captured by the ISIS outside of a hospital in 2013.

    I hope this thread doesn't turn into a Muslim or Obama bashing thread and am posting this in Hangout rather than D&D to recognize an extraordinary young women. I've done relief work and have been to areas that have suffered from war (to emphasize I've never been during an active conflict) I can't imagine though the dedication and frankly faith in humanity to go help others it takes to leave a safe life in Prescott, AZ to go to war torn Syria.

    My heart goes out to her family and this is also a reminder of while there are some evil people in this world there are some good people too.



    American ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller dead, family says

    Kayla Mueller's parents had been holding out hope.

    But on Tuesday, the American ISIS hostage's family revealed devastating news.

    They received it, officials said, in a message from her captors.

    "We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller has lost her life," the family said in a statement. "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."

    ISIS sent the family a private message over the weekend, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said.

    "Once this information was authenticated by the intelligence community, they concluded that Kayla was deceased," Meehan said.

    The message sent to the family included photos, a U.S. official said.

    The new information does not clarify how 26-year-old Mueller died, a law enforcement source familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity.

    On Friday, ISIS claimed that Mueller -- captured in northern Syria in 2013 -- had been killed in a building hit during a Jordanian airstrike on Raqqa, the militants' de facto capital in Syria. At the time, ISIS offered no proof to back up its claim, other than an image of a building in rubble.

    Speaking in Mueller's hometown of Prescott, Arizona, family and friends said they are still finding strength in her seemingly boundless desire to help those in need and share their stories.

    Kathleen Day, a friend of Mueller, read from a blog post the aid worker wrote in Syria before her capture: "Every human being should act. They should stop this violence. People are fleeing. We can't bear this. it's too much. I hope you can tell the entire world what I have said here, and what I've seen."

    That, Day said, is what friends and family will do now.

    "They tried to silence her. They locked her up. They kept us silent out of fear. But now she's free, and she says that she found freedom even in captivity, and that she is grateful, so her light shines," Day told reporters. "And we thank you for shining your light not on Kayla, but shine your light on the suffering that Kayla saw. And let's tell Syria, we hear you, and we're going to do something."

    American held by ISIS moved by suffering of Syrian people

    Obama speaks with family

    President Barack Obama offered his condolences to the Mueller family.

    "Kayla's compassion and dedication to assisting those in need shows us that even amongst unconscionable evil, the essential decency of humanity can live on," Obama said in a statement.

    Obama has spoken with Mueller's family, Meehan said.

    "He committed that we will relentlessly pursue the terrorists responsible for Kayla's captivity and death, and underscored that his team stands ready to help the family in the difficult weeks and months ahead," she said.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he would not discuss cases of people who are being held hostage but confirmed that there is at least one other American being held in Syria.

    Earnest said there are "other American hostages being held in the region."

    Taken hostage in 2013

    Mueller fell into the hands of hostage-takers in August 2013 in Aleppo, Syria, her family said, after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital.

    Her family said ISIS contacted them in May with proof that she was alive. The militants eventually said they would kill her if the family didn't pay nearly $7 million by August 13, according to a source close to the family. What happened after that deadline is unclear.

    On Tuesday, relatives released a handwritten letter that they say she wrote while in captivity in spring 2014.

    At one point, the letter reads, "I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness."

    "It's hard to know what to say," the letter also reads. "Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/the utmost respect + kindness."

    She said that she could only write the letter a paragraph at a time. "Just the thought of you sends me into fits of tears," the letter says, and "all in all in the end the only one you really have is God."

    The message, Day said, showed that even in prison, Mueller continued to be free.

    Others held captive with her told her family and friends Mueller stood on her head as prisoners tried to exercise in a small space. And she tried to teach the guards to make origami peace cranes.

    "We just delight in that," she said, "knowing that Kayla remained Kayla."

    A life serving others

    Mueller made it her life's work to help others. She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009, and worked with humanitarian groups in northern India, Israel and Palestinian territories, a family spokeswoman said.

    "She had a quiet, calming presence. She was a free spirit, always standing up for those who were suffering and wanting to be their voice. ... Kayla's calling was to help those who were suffering, whether in her home in Prescott, or on the other side of the world," her aunts, Lori Lyon and Terri Crippes, said Tuesday.

    In Israel, she volunteered at the African Refugee Development Center.

    Carol Thompson, one of Mueller's former professors, said that her family has endured "18 months of anguish and tears and hell."

    It's also been hard on "those of us who were trying to come up with an alternative outcome to not only Kayla, but the other hostages -- to James (Foley) and Steven (Sotloff) and Peter (Kassig) who were killed," she said, referring to three others who have been slain by the terror group.

    There is a resolution, said Thompson, to be inspired by Mueller's work to "try to overcome some of the horrors that are going on right now."

    She would "want us to say what actions, how can each one of us do a little part?" Thompson added. "She had no illusions that she was going to transform the world, but she went trying to do whatever small thing she could do to change maybe a couple of relationships, a small corner of the world."

    Mueller went back to Arizona in 2011, volunteered in a women's shelter and worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic, helping to facilitate events and providing local coordination for World AIDS Day, the family spokeswoman said.

    After a year as an au pair in France, she traveled to the Turkish/Syrian border to work with the Danish Refugee Council and the humanitarian organization Support to Life, which assisted families forced to flee their homes due to the civil war in Syria, the spokeswoman said.

    In a YouTube video produced in October 2011, before the rise of ISIS, Mueller said she supported a sit-in that protested the Syrian regime.

    "I am in solidarity with the Syrian people," she said. "I reject the brutality and killing that the Syrian authorities are committing against the Syrian people."

    Remember her work

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said Mueller should be remembered for her altruistic work, not for how she died.

    "Her family's got to be heartbroken, but my God, this is the best example, this young lady, of being an American, being a decent human being that one could imagine. I believe very strongly she is in God's hands," he said on CNN.

    "Those who captured her, and in my view, killed her -- I think God will judge them differently."

    U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican from Mueller's home state of Arizona, said it feels like a "very, very sad day."

    "Here's a beautiful girl, young person that gave her life to helping others," he said. "I hope everybody will reach out to their respective religions with thoughts and prayers on behalf of Kayla and her family."
    1 person likes this.
  2. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

    Feb 17, 1999
    Likes Received:
    What a saint. RIP.
  3. shastarocket

    shastarocket Contributing Member

    Jul 18, 2006
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    Sounds like she was an incredible person, thanks for sharing op
  4. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

    Jun 3, 2002
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    I'm really conflicted on feeling relief for the girl because I hate to even try and imagine the torture/ rape/ etc. she was going through and what her final demise would have been. What a sad story.
  5. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

    Oct 3, 1999
    Likes Received:
  6. DaleDoback

    DaleDoback Contributing Member

    Jul 2, 2009
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    That was my initial thought this morning. As sad as it is to see a young, strong woman with a life dedicated to helping those in need die like this.....her death had to put an end to unimaginable suffering. The way they treat woman they force to marry is bad enough.......So horrible. I feel for her friends and family.
  7. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Jul 24, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I don't want to speculate on what her conditions where in captivity and would rather focus on the life that she led. I'm pretty sure she knew what the risk were going to a place like Syria yet still chose to do so because she saw the need.

    I like to think that I've done a lot to help people but I wouldn't choose to go to a place like Syria and do what she did.
  8. 00rocketgirl

    00rocketgirl Contributing Member

    Feb 15, 2010
    Likes Received:
    from her letter she wrote in spring 2014.
    An incredible woman who made the best of her terrible situation until the end
  9. rudan

    rudan Member

    Jun 30, 2006
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    All around sad story. She will never be more famous than Kim Kardashian.......

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

    Jun 26, 2008
    Likes Received:
    What does fame have to do with accomplishment?

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