US military raid on ISIS leader was named for Arizona’s Kayla Mueller

Oct 28, 2019, 6:36 AM | Updated: 6:10 pm
In this photo, Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Ariz. A statement that...
In this photo, Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Ariz. A statement that appeared on a militant website commonly used by the Islamic State group claimed that Mueller was killed in a Jordanian airstrike on Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the militant group's main stronghold. The IS statement could not be independently verified. (AP Photo/The Daily Courier, Matt Hinshaw)
(AP Photo/The Daily Courier, Matt Hinshaw)

PHOENIX – The U.S. military mission that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr-al-Baghdadi was named after Arizona’s Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian who was captured and later killed by terrorists in Syria.

“We just learned that the whole thing was dedicated to Kayla thanks to General [Mark] Milley and it’s very touching,” Carl Mueller, Kayla’s father, told ABC News on Sunday.

Mueller, of Prescott, was killed in 2015. She had been held hostage since 2013 and was tortured and raped by al-Baghdadi, her father said.

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wanted to honor the hostages, in particular Mueller.

The 26-year-old was, “a great young American – idealistic young girl,” O’Brien said.

President Donald Trump spoke of Mueller during his announcement of al-Baghdadi’s death.

“He kept her in captivity for a long period of time; he kept her in captivity, his personal captivity. She was a beautiful woman, beautiful young woman, helped people. She was there to help people,” Trump said.

Her body has not been recovered.

Mueller’s parents said they met secretly with the wife of one of the terrorists to try to find out what happened to Kayla’s remains or even if she was possibly still alive.

Umm Sayyaf, whose husband Abu Sayyaf was killed by a U.S. Special Forces team, gave them details that hadn’t been revealed before.

Carl and Marsha Mueller want more answers and are prepared to take the government to court, the network reported.

“She’s not forgotten, and that’s important,” Carl Mueller said.

Freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotlof and humanitarian worker Peter Kassig were also captured and killed along with Mueller.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Mesa International Film Festival kicks off on Friday

The third Mesa International Film Festival will kick off in the Valley on Friday with plenty of films scheduled for the weekend. 
5 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Murder charge in Arizona against divorce lawyer dismissed

A murder charge filed in Arizona against a California lawyer in the 2010 shooting death of his stepdaughter’s husband has been dismissed.
1 day ago
(Pexels photo)...

2-year-old girl dies after drowning incident in Phoenix

A 2-year-old girl has died after being pulled out of a pool in Phoenix on Thanksgiving day, police said.
1 day ago
(The Pick Lottery Photo)...

The Pick lottery ticket sold at Walmart in Surprise hits $8.8 million jackpot

If you bought a ticket for Wednesday night's The Pick lottery drawing in the West Valley, you'll want to check those numbers.
1 day ago
(Pixabay Photo)...

Police investigate death of 27-year-old man found in Phoenix

Police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old man found in Phoenix Thursday morning.
1 day ago
FILE - Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a cooler before being thawed at a pop-u...

Arizona reports 3,322 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths on Friday

Arizona health officials on Friday reported 3,322 new COVID-19 cases and four deaths.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]
Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
US military raid on ISIS leader was named for Arizona’s Kayla Mueller