IS leader raped Amer­i­can hostage: of­fi­cials

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY KEN DI­LA­NIAN

Amer­i­can hostage Kayla Mueller was re­peat­edly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr Bagh­dadi, the leader of the Is­lamic State group, U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials told her fam­ily in June.

The news is but the latest in a litany of hor­rors per­pe­trated by the Is­lamic State group, which has be­headed, burned and cru­ci­fied male cap­tives while pass­ing around women as sex slaves.

Mueller was held for a time by Is­lamic State fi­nancier Abu Sayyaf and his wife, known as Umm Sayyaf. Al-Bagh­dadi took Mueller as a “wife,” re­peat­edly rap­ing her when he vis­ited, ac­cord­ing to a Yazidi teenager who was held with Mueller and es­caped in Oc­to­ber 2014.

The 14-year-old made her way to Iraqi Kur­dis­tan, where she talked to U.S. com­man­dos in Novem­ber 2014. In­tel­li­gence agen­cies cor­rob­o­rated her ac­count and Amer­i­can of­fi­cials passed it on to her par­ents in June.

“They told us that he mar­ried her, and we all un­der­stand what that means,” Carl Mueller, Kayla’s fa­ther, told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Fri­day, which would have been his daugh­ter’s 27th birth­day. Her death was re­ported in Fe­bru­ary.

Her mother, Mar­sha Mueller, added, “Kayla did not marry this man. He took her to his room and he abused her and she came back cry­ing.”

Umm Sayyaf con­firmed that al-Bagh­dadi had “owned” Kayla dur­ing Umm Sayyaf’s lengthy Amer­i­can in­ter­ro­ga­tion in Iraq, the Muellers said they were told by Amer­i­can of­fi­cials.

A U.S. of­fi­cial con­firmed their ac­count, first re­ported by Lon- don’s In­de­pen­dent news­pa­per. The of­fi­cial was not au­tho­rized to be quoted by name and spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

Abu Sayyaf was killed in a Delta Force raid of his Syr­ian com­pound in June, which re­sulted in a trea­sure trove of in­tel­li­gence about the Is­lamic State group. Umm Sayyaf has been turned over to the Iraqi Kurds for trial.

The Muellers have been told she can be ex­pected to serve a long prison sen­tence, said a fam­ily spokes­woman, Emily Len­zner.

Mueller was held with three other women, all Yazidis, the Muellers were told. All were sex­u­ally abused. When al-Bagh­dadi vis­ited, he would take Mueller to his room, the wit­ness told Amer­i­can of­fi­cials. She would tell her fel­low cap­tives — some­times tear­fully — what had hap­pened.

“Kayla tried to pro­tect

these young girls,” her mother said. “She was like a mother fig­ure to them.”

When the teenaged Yazidi girl es­caped with her sis­ter, she asked Mueller to ac­com­pany her, the par­ents were told, but Kayla re­fused, wor­ry­ing that her ob­vi­ous Western ap­pear­ance would lead to their cap­ture.

By the time the Yadizi es­capee re­ported the sit­u­a­tion to Delta Force com­man­dos in Iraq, Kayla had been moved, her par­ents were told.

U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials found in­for­ma­tion on Sayyaf’s com­puter in­di­cat­ing that Mueller, who spoke some Ara­bic, had been search­ing for in­for­ma­tion about fer­til­ity to help Umm Sayyaf, who was try­ing to get preg­nant, ac­cord­ing to two U.S. of­fi­cials who re­fused to be quoted be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is clas­si­fied.

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