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An American victim

PETER O’CONNOR
Staff Columnist
oconnor@lbknews.com

I was both surprised and shocked at the above the fold cover photo on the Wall Street Journal this morning.  The Journal is not given to sensationalism.  This was a solid story.  (Bravery in the face of Death,  Wall Street Journal, Wednesday, February 11, 2015)

I read it all, even though I had seen and heard the tragic tale in other media the day before.  I thought; might this shake up our American people?  Apparently not! I’ve heard mixed reactions.  I present it here for our readers to assess themselves.

‘The thought of your pain is the source of my  own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength.  Please be patient, give your pain to God.  I know you would want me to remain strong.  That is exactly what I am  doing .  Do not fear for me, continue to pray as I will & by God’s will we will be together soon.’  (Final letter transmitted to her family in Arizona by Kayla Jean Mueller, an American held by Islamic State extremists.  She was confirmed dead.  The family released a letter from captivity.)

I realized that I am moved by this story, not just shocked.  Ms. Mueller looks the All American girl.  Who would not be moved?  Are things getting too tough for us all.  We don’t  expect to see young American Ladies murdered and then looking out from the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports,  “Kayla Jean Mueller, the last American hostage known to be held by Islamic State extremists, was confirmed dead by her relatives and the White House on Tuesday ( 2/10).  Ms. Mueller’s parents received what U.S. Officials described  as private communications from Islamic State over the weekend, including photographs.  Based on the images, U.S. intelligence agencies concluded they proved she had been killed, officials said.

However, intelligence officials couldn’t determine how she was killed or when she died, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The extremist organization asserted Friday that Ms. Mueller had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike in Syria.  But U.S. and Jordanian officials have been skeptical of the claim. U.S. officials said it was impossible  to ascertain from the photos whether she had been killed in the recent strikes as the group claimed.

Her parents, Marsha and Carl Mueller, had held out hope their daughter was alive even after Islamic State announced her death on Friday.  But in a statement on Tuesday, they said they had received confirmation of her death.”

“President Barack Obama, in a statement, offered condolences to the Mueller family and vowed to bring those responsible for her death to justice.  ‘Kayla represents what is best about America, ‘he said.

The Journal reports further, “U.S. officials also believe Ms. Mueller was forced to convert to Islam and marry an Islamic State leader, part of the reason why they assessed she wouldn’t be killed.

Mr. Obama, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, said Ms. Mueller was among those whom U.S. forces tried but failed to recue at an oil refinery last July.”

Ms. Mueller was reported to be 26 years old.  According to relatives she had traveled to the Turkish-Syria border region in late 2012 to work with aid organizations:  Support to Life and the Danish Refugee Council.  She was kidnapped in Aleppo in August 2013.

It is reported by the White House that at least one other American is being held hostage in Syria, a male freelance journalist.

 

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