Islamic State leader raped abducted US aid worker
US aid worker Kayla Mueller, who was held hostage by militant Islamist group the Islamic State until her death in February, was reportedly raped by the terror group’s leader while in captivity.
The BBC reports that counterterrorism officials told Mueller’s parents that she had been sexually abused by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while being held in Syria.
Mueller was abducted in Aleppo, Syria, in 2013, where she was working as an aid worker. According to The Guardian, she was held for some time by Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic State financier, and his wife Umm Sayyaf. It was at their home where Baghdadi is said to have held her as his wife, repeatedly raping her, Mueller’s parents, Carl and Marsha, were told by US security officials.
The Independent reported that US officials had been given the information by a Yazidi teenager who had been held alongside Mueller.
The 14-year-old talked to US officials, who corroborated her account with other intelligence officials and passed it on to Mueller’s parents in June, family spokesperson Emily Lenzner told the paper.
The Islamic State claimed that Mueller had been killed during a US airstrike in Jordan. But according to The Guardian, her family believed that Mueller might have been murdered by the Islamic State in retaliation for Jordan’s killing of Sajida al-Rishawi, who participated in the 2005 hotel suicide bombings in Amman.
Shortly before her death, Mueller wrote a letter to her family in which she said that she had been “treated with the utmost respect + kindness”, adding that she was being kept in a safe location, “completely unharmed + healthy”.
The Islamic State, reported CCN.com, claims the Qur’an justifies taking non-Muslim women and girls captive, that they can be sold as “property” and that the rape of captive women is permissible.
Baghdadi remains the group’s top leader.