White House Confirms Death of American Aid Worker Taken Hostage by ISIS

MuellerWASHINGTON — The White House has confirmed the death of an American aid worker that had been taken hostage by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Kayla Mueller, 26, of Prescott, Arizona had traveled to Syria in 2013 to work with the Danish Refugee Council and Support to Life, a humanitarian organization that helps displaced Syrians affected by the country’s civil war. Mueller had dedicated her life to aid work, traveling to Israel, India and Palestine to participate in humanitarian efforts in recent years. She also volunteered for an HIV/AIDS clinic in the United States, as well as a shelter for women.

“I am in solidarity with the Syrian people,” Mueller stated in a video recorded in 2011. “I reject the brutality and killing that the Syrian authorities are committing against the Syrian people.”

But while serving the people of Syria in 2013, she was taken captive by ISIS, and last May, the Islamic group contacted Mueller’s family to demand over $6 million in ransom to save her life.

Last Friday, ISIS claimed that Mueller had been killed during a Jordanian airstrike in Raqqa, which served as retaliation for last week’s brutal burning death of pilot Moaz al-Kassasbeh, but no provided no further substantiation for the claim other than a photograph of a destroyed building. Therefore, Mueller’s family would not accept word of her death and remained hopeful that she might still be alive contrary to claims.

But Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, told ABC News on Tuesday that the family “received a private message from Kayla’s ISIL [ISIS] captors containing additional information.”

“Once this information was authenticated by the intelligence community, they concluded that Kayla was deceased,” she explained.

  • Connect with Christian News

Barack Obama has issued a statement today as well expressing sorrow over Mueller’s death.

“It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller,” a White House statement reads. “On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family—her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family—and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief.”

“Kayla represents what is best about America, and expressed her deep pride in the freedoms that we Americans enjoy, and that so many others strive for around the world,” it continues. “In how she lived her life, she epitomized all that is good in our world.”

Mueller’s parents have likewise issued a statement following the conclusion that their daughter is indeed deceased.

“We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life,” they wrote. “Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need from freedom, justice and peace. … Our hearts are breaking for our only daughter, but we will continue in peace, dignity and love for her.”


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, our hearts are deeply grieved by the ongoing devastation in Iraq, and through this we have been compelled to take a stand at the gates of hell against the enemy who came to kill and destroy. Bibles for Iraq is a project to put Arabic and Kurdish audio Bibles into the hands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees—many of whom are illiterate and who have never heard the gospel.Will you stand with us and make a donation today to this important effort? Please click here to send a Bible to a refugee >>

Print Friendly
  • Fundisi

    It is unfortunate that a young lady with a sincere dedication to relieving suffering, in a liberal, humanitarian way, lost her life doing what she felt was a truly, unselfish life dedicated to relieving suffering. Yet, three things come to mind: (a) My sincere sympathies to her family that had enormous pride in their daughter that was willing to risk her life in a cause she believed was just. I know from personal experience what it is to lose a child and it must be especially hard for them when she had been taken captive by a terrorist group and who knows how badly she was treated. (b) While we can regret the loss of her life and admire her zeal, she knew she was taking that risk and when the risk turned into reality, she must accept the responsibilities for her actions in going into harms way, without excusing the murderous barbarians that took her captive. We cannot blame others for not protecting her from the very risks she took willingly. (c) While it can be said that her actions were in the spirit of Christ’s teachings of caring for the poor and suffering and commend her, was she there out of the love of Christ for these lost souls or some sense of a secular-humanist ideal? I would hope she knew Christ and sharing His love was her goal, as it would be a shame if she was not saved before she died. I do not know she was not saved or what was in her heart, it is just a question that concerns me for her eternal welfare.

    • W. J. G.

      It’s really great to see you willing to spin anything in an attempt to proselytize.

      Your point c marks a disturbing model of reality.

      • Fundisi

        This is a Christian oriented site, thus for Christians everything is viewed from a Christian perspective. Why is point “c” a “disturbing model of reality?”

        • W. J. G.

          One can be christian without signing away fundamental humanity.

          This attempt to redefine all humanitarian work in terms of proselytizing is signing away fundamental humanity; it’s the abdication of basic decency in an attempt to win converts.

          That’s why point c is a disturbing model of reality. This was a brave woman doing something for her fellow humans, and your only concern is whether she was there to spread your brand of religion.

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EyrtheFyre Regina Forbes

            What is your problem with Christians? Like seriously- this is a CHRISTIAN site with a CHRISTIAN

          • W. J. G.

            What a ridiculous assertion.

            I’m not expressing a problem with christians. Rather with one particular one who immediately jumped into questions of proselytization over humanitarian work.

            And then you build layer up layers of a ridiculous straw man trying to frame the issue as “YOU JUST MAD” in the most ridiculous way possible.

            You’re really not doing a very good job of convincing me that I’m wrong!

          • Fundisi

            You are assuming facts not in evidence, while one can not only be a Christian and act humanely, they usually lead the pack in their giving.

            Yet, allowing us to assume for a moment Christianity is the Truth – to salve your atheism we will do so only for the sake of discussion, if we feed, clothe, house and otherwise care for those with temporal needs and leave them without Christ and eternal life, we have only eased their pain and left them in spiritual death. In matter of fact, being in such need they are more likely to reach out to God for His mercy and then you atheist, liberal minded folk come in and feed their body, leave them without Christ and thus starve their souls and by doing so send them into Perdition and that is not kindness, it is not humane, it is not love – it is hate – hating them because you leave them everlasting lost and in a much worse state for all eternity than they were before you patted yourself on the back by throwing them a loaf of bread. While the Christian feeds both body and soul and offers them eternal deliverance from their pain.

            Now go away to a nice atheist, Christ hating, liberal site and lick your wounds.

          • W. J. G.

            “Now go away to a nice atheist, Christ hating, liberal site and lick your wounds.”

            Do you not realize how inane and ridiculous it sounds to throw up your hands and declare victory, or declare that you’ve said something that would make someone have to “lick their wounds”?

            Think about it for a minute. Think about what you think of someone who takes a position you disagree with, throws out a whole bunch of arguments, then claims automagic victory and that you’ve been wounded.

            I’d be willing to bet any amount of money that you wouldn’t take them even slightly seriously.

            “You are assuming facts not in evidence”

            I find it very odd that you’d state this and then immediately leap to

            “Yet, allowing us to assume for a moment Christianity is the Truth”

            But soldiering on;

            “if we feed, clothe, house and otherwise care for those with temporal needs and leave them without Christ and eternal life, we have only eased their pain and left them in spiritual death.”

            This is the disturbing model of reality I was talking about; using peoples’ needs as a springboard to push your religious agenda.

            Being content to take people who have nothing, who are in crisis, and then make aid conditional upon proselytization.

            To care more for proselytization than the reduction in real, demonstrable suffering.

            This is abjectly amoral.

          • Fundisi

            To care for their temporal needs and leave them in spiritual death – that is demonstrably an expression of real hatred! You would feed, clothe, house and meet other needs of the moment and not care anything about their entering into everlasting suffering, all because you are against bringing Christ and eternal life with that aid is to hate them with a passion, to not care about them at all – your charity being a mere show.

            As to the rest of your asinine, liberal logic, I don;t have time for your games.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            Sir, or Madam, you are an a-theist, no? If so, you are not allowed to talk about objective morality or accuse anyone of being objectively amoral. You, as an a-theist, have no grounds for this, there is no such thing under naturalistic a-theism. You are just molecules in motion under your worldview. You must steal from God to assert objective morality. Don’t take my word for it – consider the “pope” and “cardinals” of a-theism: https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/an-atheist-explains-the-real-consequences-of-adopting-an-atheistic-worldview/

            Now, the next time you steal objective morality from God, at least have the courtesy to thank Him! May God bless you, nevertheless, W.J.G.!

          • W. J. G.

            ” If so, you are not allowed to talk about objective morality or accuse anyone of being objectively amoral.”

            Incorrect.

            “You, as an a-theist, have no grounds for this, there is no such thing under naturalistic a-theism.”

            “Naturalistic” isn’t part of atheism (and you don’t need the hyphen).

            Atheism is a single answer to a single question, it makes no statements on anything other than that single question.

            My morality stems from my secular humanism, which requires no supernatural source.

            “Don’t take my word for it – consider the “pope” and “cardinals” of a-theism: ”

            Atheism has neither. There is no person qualified to speak for all atheists. It’s abjectly dishonest for you to try and claim there is.

            “Now, the next time you steal objective morality from God, at least have the courtesy to thank Him! ”

            I don’t “steal” anything from god (not least of which because there’s no evidence that a god even exists), because there is no morality in religion – there are moral pronouncements, which are usually hideously amoral.

            Feel free to identify what particular god you’re talking about, and what particular denomination, and I’d be happy to provide quite the list of hideously amoral actions claimed as “moral” by your god.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “”Naturalistic” isn’t part of atheism (and you don’t need the hyphen).”

            I am not aware of any a-theist who is not a Darwinist. Are you the first one? As for the hyphen, I include that so that a-theists like you don’t forget that you have a burden of proof to share in this discussion. I don’t want to have to deal with any of that low brow “a-theism is an unbelief in God” nonsense.

            “My morality stems from my secular humanism, which requires no supernatural source.”

            In other words, your “morality” is just like your favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s not objective.

            The claim remains: under Darwinism, there are no grounds for objective moral values and duties. Don’t take it up with me: take it up with your “pope” and “cardinals.” Perhaps you should debate them? 🙂

            “which are usually hideously amoral.”

            There you go again – stealing from God! Your “morality” is an ice cream flavor, so all you are saying is that God is hideously amoral in the same sense that chocolate ice cream is hideously amoral. Are all a-theists absurdists?

            “Feel free to identify what particular god you’re talking about”

            I’m talking about the First Uncaused Cause that created everything (including an ungrateful you) out of nothing. As given by Kalam Cosmology with support from the Big Bang and BGV Theorem. You know: your (secular) data points to my Deity. Please do tell me how this Being is hideous, without stealing from Him. Or sitting in His lap to slap His face.

          • W. J. G.

            “I am not aware of any a-theist who is not a Darwinist.”

            There’s no such thing as a “darwinist.”

            Darwin *started* the study of evolution several hundred years ago. We’ve progressed quite a bit since then.

            Do you call people who accept gravity “Newtonists”? People who accept relativity “Einsteinists”?

            “As for the hyphen, I include that so that a-theists like you don’t
            forget that you have a burden of proof to share in this discussion. I
            don’t want to have to deal with any of that low brow “a-theism is an
            unbelief in God” nonsense.”

            What you want is irrelevant to reality. Atheism *is* the lack of acceptance of the claim of a god. It bears no burden of proof, it’s a response to theists failing to meet their burden of proof. If atheism made a positive claim, it would have a burden of proof – but it doesn’t. Atheism is not the claim that no gods exist.

            “In other words, your “morality” is just like your favorite flavor of ice cream. It’s not objective.”

            That’s a rather absurd straw man to build. I do subscribe to a belief in objective morality, and don’t need a supernatural force in order to do so.

            Rather, all it requires is that humans are profoundly social animals, and rely on functioning communities. That’s where the basics of morality come from, and we’ve worked upwards from there.

            “take it up with your “pope” and “cardinals.” Perhaps you should debate them?”

            You’ve made this claim twice now. Simply repeating it doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.

            “I’m talking about the First Uncaused Cause that created everything (including an ungrateful you) out of nothing. As given by Kalam Cosmology…”

            Such a thing can be demonstrated to not exist simply from special relativity. Kalam requires A-series time (that the placement in time is an intrinsic property of an event). A-series time is false, and special relativity demonstrates that it is – rather, position in time is relative on the inertial frame of reference that an event is being observed from.

            Additionally, relativity suggests that time is asymptotic. As you go further and further back in time, the universe gets higher and higher in energy. This means that spacetime is more and more distorted, and again special relativity demonstrates that the more energy there is, the slower observed time ticks from an inertial reference frame.

            This means that as you get closer and closer to the big bang, time gets slower and slower, until at the moment of big bang there is no forward movement of time; essentially an event horizon which hides what, if anything, came before our universe.

            BGV theorem, on the other hand, assumes a universe governed by classical mechanics. Our universe is a quantum mechanical universe, which puts BGV out of the running.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “There’s no such thing as a “darwinist.””

            I love it! You are the first a-theist I have ever met who is fleeing from Darwinism! In which case, you are the smartest a-theist I have ever met. 🙂 And, I mean that sincerely. Good for you! Darwinism really is a delusion, or a cult, that might be the better term.

            “Atheism *is* the lack of acceptance of the claim of a god. It bears no burden of proof, it’s a response to theists failing to meet their burden of proof. If atheism made a positive claim, it would have a burden of proof – but it doesn’t. Atheism is not the claim that no gods exist.”

            False! And, this is precisely the type of low brow a-theism that I cannot stand. I take it back about you being the smartest a-theist I have met. A-theism most certainly IS the claim that “there is no God.” Otherwise, a-theism is nothing more than an expression of your psychological state. In other words, under your definition, a-theism could be true if there is a God, since you could “lack acceptance of the claim of a god” even when that God exists! Here is a primer on the matter so that you do not fall into that trap again: https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/is-the-definition-of-atheism-a-lack-of-belief-in-god-3/

            Now that you have read it, I await your positive evidence for the No God Hypothesis. I shouldn’t be the only one in this conversation that has to put in some work. 🙂

            “Rather, all it requires is that humans are profoundly social animals, and rely on functioning communities. That’s where the basics of morality come from, and we’ve worked upwards from there.”

            Social construct is not objective, in any sense of the word. And, you just condoned racial slavery. And, Hitler. Mao. Stalin. And a lot of cannibalizing savages too, I might add.

            “Our universe is a quantum mechanical universe, which puts BGV out of the running.”

            OK, you DO get your lost points back for bringing up A-time, well-done! 🙂 Nevertheless, BGV is certainly consistent with any version (present or future) of Einstein’s Relativity: it only assumes an average positive inflationary universe – which all of your (secular) data point to. I thought your side liked data? Why do you guys keep running from it when it points to a beginning? Does a beginning scare you? 🙂

            As for the QM universe, Larry Krauss, and his “something from nothing,” we know that his “nothing” includes a QM vacuum, matter, and anti-matter. Those are a lot of somethings, not nothing. Just because he is disingenuous in smuggling a lot of somethings into his “nothing” (and changing his terminology mid-book) does not mean you have to be so gullible as to fall for it.

            God bless you, W.J.G.! Good exchange, and nice touch with the A-time.

          • W. J. G.

            “I love it! You are the first a-theist I have ever met who is fleeing from Darwinism!”

            I’m not “fleeing” from anything. Darwin was a very smart man who came up with a revolutionary idea. But we’ve moved on over the past several hundred years and fleshed it out well beyond anything he’d ever been able to imagine.

            Your attempts to fixate on Darwin are just daft. Science *progresses*, that’s what it does. Evolutionary theory is the single strongest theory we have – even stronger than gravitational theory.

            “False! And, this is precisely the type of low brow a-theism that I cannot stand.”

            No, it’s not false.

            “A-theism most certainly IS the claim that “there is no God.”

            No, it’s not. How about you let ME tell you what I believe, instead of trying to tell me what I believe.

            “a-theism could be true if there is a God,”

            No, atheism could not be true if there was a god. The TRUTH of a claim is independent of the BELIEF about a claim.

            Atheism can be JUSTIFIED if there is a god, however, if there’s not sufficient evidence to support belief in that god.

            “Now that you have read it, I await your positive evidence for the No God
            Hypothesis. I shouldn’t be the only one in this conversation that has
            to put in some work. :-)”

            I don’t make the claim that no god exists. Only that you’ve failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove that YOUR god exists.

            “Social construct is not objective, in any sense of the word.”

            I didn’t claim it was.

            “And, you just condoned racial slavery. And, Hitler. Mao. Stalin. And a lot of cannibalizing savages too, I might add.”

            No I didn’t. (And by the way, Hitler is your problem, not mine – he was a Catholic.)

            The fact that humans are social animals is the FOUNDATION, not the SUM TOTAL, of morality. i spared you the long-winded explanation since I’d already gone a bit long-winded on the physics – but I’d be happy enough to go into it if it really interests you.

            “Nevertheless, BGV is certainly consistent with any version (present or future) of Einstein’s Relativity:”

            Yeah I got my theories mixed up with BGV. It is consistent with quantum mechanics (not relativity, that’s a different thing).

            However, BGV only gets you back to an event horizon, and no further. By definition, one cannot make predictions about what happened before an event horizon because that’s where the model breaks down.

            ” I thought your side liked data? Why do you guys keep running from it
            when it points to a beginning? Does a beginning scare you? :-)”

            I haven’t run from anything. Explanations are not “running.”

            “Just because he is disingenuous in smuggling a lot of somethings into
            his “nothing” (and changing his terminology mid-book) does not mean you
            have to be so gullible as to fall for it.”

            This is probably the most dishonest thing you’ve said yet. But I’ll charitably attribute it to copy-paste from an apologist rather than your own words.

            Krauss did not “change terminology,” and his reference to nothing was “no universe, no matter, no energy” which is certainly an acceptable definition of “nothing.”

            The only people attempting to smuggle things in to definitions are people who claim that “nothing means no possibility for anything,” which is a purely begged question, as it implies in its premises a conclusion.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “No, it’s not. How about you let ME tell you what I believe, instead of trying to tell me what I believe.” “No, atheism could not be true if there was a god. The TRUTH of a claim is independent of the BELIEF about a claim.”

            And, this is really it, W.J.G. You are confusing your belief with the truth. (Remember when everyone BELIEVED that the earth was flat? It wasn’t TRULY flat, was it?) Your belief is a measure of your psychological state and is of no interest here: what we are interested in is the truth. Does God exist or not?

            I really want you to re-think this, because with all due and sincere respect, it is quite disingenuous for so many New A-theists to make the claim that a-theism is the “lack of belief in a god” or “lack of acceptance of the claim of a god.” Take it from a former Old A-theist: that is not at all what a-theism is about. If it were, then a-theists would not be debating theists: who debates over their beliefs or preferences?!? Debates are conducted over truth, not what flavor of ice cream you believe tastes the best. Please re-read that link I gave you – all of the great a-theists of the past – Bertrand Russell, etc – knew full well that a-theism is the claim that “there is no God.”

            The A-theory vs B-theory of time – that is good stuff and meaty, and I appreciate that, well-done! You are going after truth there, not beliefs. But, we would not be debating such things, if all we were talking about was personal beliefs and psychological states and flavors of ice cream. We want at the truth. Nice jousting with you, W.J.G. – and God bless!

          • W. J. G.

            “And, this is really it, W.J.G. You are confusing your belief with the
            truth. (Remember when everyone BELIEVED that the earth was flat? It
            wasn’t TRULY flat, was it?) Your belief is a measure of your
            psychological state and is of no interest here: what we are interested
            in is the truth. Does God exist or not?”

            This one really takes the cake for irony.

            Do you know how we demonstrated that the world was not flat? Do you know when we demonstrated it?

            Provide anything similar to this for the existence of a god and I’d no longer be an atheist.

            ” If it were, then a-theists would not be debating theists: who debates over their beliefs or preferences?!?”

            People who don’t want to be ruled by regressive theocratic law, and resent attempts to legislate based upon scripture.

            “I really want you to re-think this, because with all due and sincere
            respect, it is quite disingenuous for so many New A-theists to make the
            claim that a-theism is the “lack of belief in a god” or “lack of
            acceptance of the claim of a god.””

            This is simply disingenuous.

            Since we apparently have to cover this; basic laws of logic.

            The Law of Identity; A is A. Theism is the belief in a god. You must believe in a god to be a theist.

            The Law of Non-contradiction; A is not not-A. If you do not believe in a god, you cannot be a theist. Belief is the state of being convinced of something, disbelief is lacking the state of being convinced (and not, as you’re trying to claim, the state of being convinced of the negation. That’s a belief, not disbelief.)

            The Law of The Excluded Middle; Either A or Not-A is true. Either your a theist or you’re not a theist; either you’re convinced something is true or your not convinced something is true.

            There’s nowhere in that for convinced that the negation is true.

            If you were an atheist (and I don’t accept that claim one bit given how badly you try to define it), and think that the requirement of atheism is belief that gods don’t exist, then you were an atheist for poor reasons.

            This is possible. Being an atheist doesn’t automagically make one skeptical; skepticism is a separate thing, and something which many atheists, but not all, ascribe to.

          • WorldGoneCrazy

            “People who don’t want to be ruled by regressive theocratic law, and resent attempts to legislate based upon scripture.”

            There you go again – stealing from God with an objective moral assertion. If you are going to steal from Him, at least have the courtesy to thank Him! 🙂

            “Since we apparently have to cover this; basic laws of logic.”

            OMG – you are doubling down on this kindergarten a-theism?!? I gave you the Stanford University Encyclopedia of Philosophy definition (” ‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the denial of the existence of God.”) and you come back with “I lack belief, I lack belief!” Are you kidding me? I thought I was debating an adult, not a middle schooler.

            Of course, I assumed you knew that we were arguing over the proper place to put the negation, the difference between “I do NOT believe that God exists” and “I believe that God does NOT exist.” I do not need the logic lesson, child, I have 4 degrees in engineering and math and 35 years experience in spacecraft design. (Still operational, TYVM.) Speaking of which, when you graduate from high school, PLEASE do not go into engineering. I do not need any more deadweight in my Critical Design Reviews with your types shouting out “I lack belief in your design proposal!” As we say in the engineering world “put up or shut up.”

            You are free to express your psychological state as much as you want to, but now that I know you are nothing more than a skeptic (who, unsurprisingly, is NOT skeptical of his own skepticism), I really don’t care if you “lack belief in God” when the question is “Does he exist?” In a similar way, I don’t care if you “lack belief in the manned lunar landings” or “the earth being round,” etc.

            “If you were an atheist (and I don’t accept that claim one bit given how badly you try to define it), and think that the requirement of atheism is belief that gods don’t exist, then you were an atheist for poor reasons.”
            Yes, me, the Stanford Encyclopedia, all of the great a-theists of the past, and all of the truly intellectual positive a-theists today (very few of them apparently), plus, any decent Department of Philosophy at any decent university. Alas, the days of positive evidence a-theism have long disappeared. I thank God I am no longer an a-theist – I would be so alone at the meetings. I wouldn’t understand this new lingo “I lack belief!” “There is no God and I hate Him!” and “The universe created itself!” I gave up absurdism in high school, but still had a ways to go, sadly.

  • Kathryn Evans

    I think I would rather die as “collateral damage” in a friendly-fire bombing than to be beheaded by ISIS….

  • Truthhurts24

    I hope that she made it to heaven before her death.