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kayla mueller


American volunteer Kayla Mueller who was killed in February while held hostage by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria, was abused by the group’s top leader, officials tell ABC News.

Kayla Mueller, 26, from Prescott, Arizona, was repeatedly raped by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they said.

She travelled to the Turkey-Syria border in 2012 to work with refugees.

Counterterrorism officials made the Food for Life volunteer’s family aware of the abuse in June.

Kayla Mueller was abducted while working in Aleppo, Syria, in 2013. ISIS said she was killed in a Jordanian air strike, but the US blames ISIS for her death.Kayla Mueller raped by ISIS leader

“We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government,” Kayla’s parents, Carl and Marsha, told ABC News.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi personally took the American aid worker to the home of another senior ISIS member – Abu Sayyaf – who was in charge of ISIS oil and gas until his death in a US special forces operation in May, says ABC News, citing US officials.

The channel said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi regularly visited the compound where Kayla Mueller was being held and repeatedly assaulted her.

Officials said they had obtained information about the abuse from at least two teenage Yazidi girls who were held hostage as s** slaves and found inside the Sayyaf compound at the time of the US attack.

Kayla Mueller was reportedly held for some time by Abu Sayyaf and his wife, Umm Sayyaf, who was also captured by US special forces in May.

At the time, the Pentagon said Umm Sayyaf was suspected of being an ISIS member and of being complicit in the enslavement of a young Yazidi woman who was rescued in the raid.

Hundreds of young women and girls – many of them Yazidis captured in northern Iraq – are believed to be held as slaves by ISIS militants in areas under their control.

The Yazidi girls provided intelligence used by the US to interrogate Abu Sayyaf’s wife, who “spilled everything” about several ISIS leaders and their whereabouts, a counterterrorism official told ABC.

Umm Sayyaf was handed over to the Kurdish authorities in northern Iraq last week to face trial.

The information that has come to light appears to contradict speculation that Kayla Mueller was treated well in captivity, as a letter written in 2014 and smuggled out to her family implied.

In that letter, Kayla Mueller tried to reassure her family, saying that she had been treated with “utmost respect + kindness”.

President Barack Obama has confirmed the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who had been held hostage by Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria.

Kayla Mueller’s family said they were “heartbroken” to learn the news, and released a letter written during her captivity.

Paying tribute to her, President Barack Obama said “she represents what is best about America”.

Last week, Islamic State said Kayla Mueller had died in a Jordanian air strike, without providing proof.

Kayla Mueller was abducted while working in Aleppo, Syria in 2013.

“Our hearts are breaking for our only daughter, but we will continue on in peace, dignity, and love for her,” her family said in a statement.Kayla Mueller death confirmed

In a letter written in 2014, Kayla Mueller tries to reassure her family that she is safe and unharmed.

“I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears,” she wrote.

“I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing.”

Kayla Mueller’s death was determined after her family was contacted privately by her ISIS captors over the weekend, with US intelligence then confirming the details of the message.

“She has been taken from us, but her legacy endures, inspiring all those who fight, each in their own way, for what is just and what is decent,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.

“No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death.”

Neither the White House nor Kayla Mueller’s family have given the circumstances behind her death.

She was the last known US hostage to be held by ISIS. Three others – journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and aid worker Peter Kassig – were beheaded by the group.

The militants’ claims that Kayla Mueller was killed by a Jordanian air strike were dismissed by Jordan as propaganda.

Kayla Mueller worked with a number of humanitarian organizations at home and abroad. She travelled to the Turkey-Syria border in 2012 to work with refugees.

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