Family of ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller speaks out against 'those who hindered us'

US News

Family of ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller speaks out against ‘those who hindered us’

On the anniversary of 26-year-old humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller’s death in Syria, her family suggests that they are preparing to go public with “the heartbreaking story” of their attempts to ransom her from the Islamic State. And, they say, they will be speaking out about “those who hindered us” — an apparent reference to their frustration with officials in the Obama administration over how their daughter’s case was handled. The new statement, the first since the family received confirmation of her death last February, invokes the memory of a young woman who, in volunteering to help refugees from the Syrian civil war, was committed “to serving the most vulnerable.”

Kayla was given a special heart and mind to not only see suffering in its many forms but to reach out and find a way to help those God placed before her.

Statement from the Mueller family

As has been recounted in multiple media accounts, the Muellers as well as other families of American hostages — including that of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, both of whom were beheaded in grisly videos released by the Islamic State — ran afoul of administration policies that effectively prohibited them from negotiating a ransom with the captors. The family has previously said they were negotiating a $6.2 million ransom for Kayla, but the deal fell apart when the U.S. swapped prisoners for soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

That made the whole situation worse. Because that’s when the demands got greater. They got larger.

Eric Mueller, Kayla’s brother