Wife of ISIS leader charged with role in Kayla Mueller’s death

Feb 8, 2016, 4:42 PM | Updated: Feb 9, 2016, 8:01 am
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WASHINGTON — The wife of a former senior leader of the Islamic State has been charged in federal court with contributing to the death of American hostage Kayla Mueller.

The Justice Department on Monday announced charges against 25-year-old Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, who’s also known as Umm Sayyaf.

A criminal complaint accuses Sayyaf and her husband, Abu Sayyaf, of holding Mueller and other women captive. U.S. intelligence officials have told Mueller’s family that their daughter was forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the group.

Abu Sayyaf was killed in a Delta Force raid of his Syrian compound in June, and his wife was turned over to Iraqi authorities for prosecution.

Justice Department officials say they support that prosecution, but they’ll continue to “pursue justice for Kayla.”

The White House confirmed Mueller was killed last February. The aid worker, originally from Prescott, was working to help those affected by the civil war in Syria when she was taken captive by ISIS.

Mueller, who graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009, told The Daily Courier in 2013 she “can’t do enough” to help those affected by the war.

The terrorist group claimed she was killed in a retaliatory airstrike by Jordanian fighter jets, something the nation denied and labeled a “PR stunt.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Wife of ISIS leader charged with role in Kayla Mueller’s death