The parents of Kayla Mueller, a slain victim of ISIS, have praised the U.S. special operations that took out ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as well as President Donald Trump, who oversaw the mission.
In their remarks Carl and Marsha Mueller expressed mixed emotions upon news of the death of Baghdadi, the ISIS leader they believe was instrumental in their daughter’s death in ISIS captivity, according to Arizona Republic. Though her parents expressed gratitude that Baghdadi had been taken down, they said they believe their daughter would still be alive if President Barrack Obama had been more “decisive” in his administration’s approach to handling ISIS.
“We are so grateful for them … we are so grateful,” Marsha Mueller said of the U.S. forces that raided Baghdadi’s northern Syrian compound Saturday night. “I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been.”
Carl Mueller, a vocal supporter of President Trump, said he felt confident Trump would have taken any measure to take down Baghdadi.
“He knows her story. He’s been briefed on it, and he knows, and that’s important to me,” Carl Mueller said. “I don’t think anything would have stopped him from getting this guy.”
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff raid, named the raid to take down Baghdadi in Kayla Mueller’s honor, according to the New York Post.
The Mueller family has been seeking information about Kayla Mueller’s disappearance since her capture at the hands of ISIS in August, 2013.
Mueller had grown up in Prescott, Arizona and had attended Northern Arizona University before becoming an international aid worker. She had reportedly been working in Turkey and had crossed into Syria to visit a hospital when she and three other Americans, including American journalist James Foley, were captured.
The Mueller family was reportedly compelled to stay quiet about Kayla’s captivity, at the demands of both her ISIS captives and U.S. authorities attempting to resolve her case. She was held for around 18 months before her death was announced in 2015.
The Mueller family believe Baghdadi personally took part in her rape and torture while in ISIS captivity and that the terror group’s leader either killed her or was complicit in her murder.
“For me what matters most I’m hoping now we will finally get the answers we have been asking for all along,” Marsha Mueller said of the recent news. “I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened.”
Baghdadi ultimately took his own life, killing himself and three of his children with a suicide bomb after U.S. forces cornered him into a dead-end tunnel.
The Mueller family believe Baghdadi would have been unlikely to provide information to help find their missing daughter, even if he had been captured alive.
Foley’s own family also expressed gratitude to Trump for the raid against Baghdadi.
“I am grateful to our President and brave troops for finding ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi. I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable,” said Diane Foley, the founder and President of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.
Diane Foley said she remains concerned for U.S. hostages still held captive in Syria and called on President Trump to make those captives a top priority.