Carl and Marsha Mueller were two the people in the visitor’s gallery whom President Donald Trump singled out for honor during his 2020 State of the Union Address. The Muellers’ daughter, Kayla Jean Mueller, was an aid worker helping the sick and injured in Syria when she was kidnapped by members of ISIS while on a mission to gather medical supplies. She was dragged down into a living Hell.
“After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker. She once wrote, “Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love. I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering. In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, al-Baghdadi murdered young, beautiful Kayla. She was just 26 years old.”
The president was decorous about what happened to Kayla. According to the Times of Israel, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi personally chose her as his personal sex slave and raped and brutalized her repeatedly. The story was confirmed by a Yazidi teenager who was held along with Kayla and who later escaped. The American woman refused to try to escape along with her because she thought that her western appearance would jeopardize her chances.
Witnesses to her capture also noted that Kayla’s Christian faith sustained her during the horrors of her captivity. She refused to convert to Islam, which might have bought her easier treatment. Her steadfastness impressed even some of her captors.
At one point during Kayla’s captivity, American special operatives believed that they had located her. However, then-President Barack Obama refused permission to launch a rescue operation, demanding more intelligence be gathered first. By the time intelligence was gathered, Kayla and some of the other sex slave operatives had been moved and American intelligence had lost her location. The chance to rescue her had been lost.
The president made a little bit of news by announcing that Kayla had been murdered by Al Baghdadi. Previously she had been presumed to have been killed in a Jordanian airstrike. According to Newsweek, Marsha Mueller blamed Obama in part for her daughter’s death, suggesting that she would still be alive if he had been as “decisive” as President Donald Trump. Kayla’s body has never been found.
Trump went on to relate to what his decisiveness yielded.
“On the night that U.S. Special Forces Operations ended al-Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team that so perfectly carried out the operation had given their mission a name: “Task Force 8-14.” It was a reference to a special day: Aug. 14 — Kayla’s birthday. Carl and Marsha, America’s warriors never forgot Kayla — and neither will we. Thank you.”
The raid, that was named Operation Kayla, was mounted in October 2019. When the special operators entered Al Baghdadi’s compound, the terrorist chieftain retreated into a tunnel along with two of his children. The special operators sent in a military dog named Conan, after the late-night talk show host and not, oddly, the fictional barbarian warrior, who cornered Al Baghdadi at the dead-end of the tunnel.
Rather than face American justice for his numerous crimes, including the rape, torture, and murder of Kayla Jean Mueller, the terrorist chief detonated a bomb vest he was wearing, killing himself and his children. At the time, according to Stars and Stripes, Al Baghdadi “died like a dog,” whimpering in terror.
When President Trump finished making his remarks about Kayla Jean Mueller and the operation that ended the life of her tormentor, the entire House chamber stood up and erupted in applauds, even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who spend most of the speech seated and glowering.
The Muellers held a large photo of their daughter so that the room and the television audience would know who she was and what she looked like. The scene was moving and sad at the same time.