Al-Baghdadi operation named after Christian aid worker who refused to give up faith before ISIS killed her
The United States’military raid that ended with the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dedicated to Kayla Mueller, a young Christian woman who was abducted, tortured, and killed by ISIS.
26-year-old Kayla was kidnapped by ISIS in August of 2013 in Aleppo, Syria after leaving a Doctor’s Without Borders medical center there. United States officials said Baghdadi tortured and raped her multiple times at his compound before announcing in 2015 that she died while in captivity. Her body was never found.
White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien told NBC that the raid against Baghdadi was named after Kayla Mueller.
“The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” he said, adding that Baghdadi was the “most vicious, cruel man.”
Kayla’s father, Carl Mueller, recalled his daughter’s last moments in an interview with The Arizona Republic not long after President Donald Trump announced the ISIS leader’s death.
“What this man did to Kayla — he kidnapped her,” Mueller said. “She was held in many prisons. She was held in solitary confinement. She was tortured. She was intimidated. She was ultimately raped by al-Baghdadi himself.”
“He either killed her or he was complicit in her murder,” he added. “I’ll let people who read this article make up their own mind how a parent should feel.”
She stood strong in her faith
Kayla’s fellow prisoners, who were later released, told ABC back in 2016 she never stopped caring for others and even defended her belief in Christianity against the infamous British ISIS murderer named Mohammed Emwazias, also referred to as “Jihadi John.”
Jihadi John was in charge of three other British ISIS terrorists who were dealing with the hostages. The captives called them “The Beatles.”
One Danish former male hostage, Daniel Rye, said that Jihadi John paraded Kayla in front of the other prisoners. It was, in addition, a chance for her to present an in-person “proof of life” by introducing herself.
“One of the Beatles started to say, ‘Oh, this is Kayla and she has been held all by herself. And she is much stronger than you guys. And she’s much smarter. She converted to Islam.’ And then she was like, ‘No, I didn’t,'” Rye said.
“I would not have had the guts to say that. I don’t think so,” he added. “It was very clear that all of us were impressed by the strength that she showed in front of us. That was very clear.”
‘I Have Surrendered Myself to Our Creator’
Kayla also spoke in detail about how she relied on her belief in God in a hand-written letter given to her parents while she was being held captive. Her cellmates who were at some point freed handed the letter to her family in the spring of 2014.
“I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else.+ by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall…I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful.”
“I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it,” she said. “I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another.”
She ended her touching letter urging her parents to give their pain to the heavenly father.
“Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong,” she wrote. “That is exactly what I am doing… Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.”
Kayla’s parents praised President Trump and the soldiers who ended Baghdadi’s life, but they still have one last request: fin their daughter and return her home to them.
“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller said.
“For me what matters most I’m hoping now we will finally get the answers we have been asking for all along,” she continued. “I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened.”
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