The mother of an aid worker who was captured by the ISIS terrorist group praised President Donald Trump for authorizing the raid to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend. At the same time, she criticized former President Obama’s handling of her daughter’s capture about six years ago.
Kayla Mueller, a humanitarian worker from Arizona, was captured while she left a hospital in Aleppo and is believed to have been tortured and raped by al-Baghdadi himself until she died about a year and a half later.
National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said the mission to take down al-Baghdadi was named after Mueller.
“One of the things that Gen. [Mark] Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did was named the operation that took down al-Baghdadi after Kayla Mueller, after what she had suffered,” O’Brien told “Meet the Press.” “And that was something that people should know.”
Marsha Mueller, the aid worker’s mother, gave praise to Trump and the U.S. Special Operations commandos for the raid, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper.
“I still say Kayla should be here, and if Obama had been as decisive as President Trump, maybe she would have been,” Marsha Mueller told the news outlet.
Her parents said on Sunday that they hope the raid will ultimately lead to the revelation of more details about her daughter’s capture and death. They said that ISIS terrorists sent photos to them of her daughter, but her body was never found.
“I think this administration truly might help us. I don’t think they are as closed about what happened,” Marsha Mueller said of Trump.
Carl Mueller said he was comforted when Trump mentioned Kayla during a press conference on Sunday. “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.”
Trump announced the death of al-Baghdadi on Sunday morning, saying U.S. forces tracked him down in northern Syria before he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself. DNA testing on the spot confirmed his death.
“She was held in many prisons,” Carl Mueller, her father, told the paper on Sunday. “She was held in solitary confinement. She was tortured. She was intimidated. She was ultimately raped by al-Baghdadi himself.”
After their daughter’s death, Carl and Marsha became critics of how the United States handles hostage situations.
Meanwhile, Carl Mueller became a supporter of Trump and spoke at rallies on the campaign trail, the Republic noted.
“He either killed her or he was complicit in her murder,” Carl Mueller said of al-Baghdadi. “I’ll let people who read this article make up their own mind how a parent should feel.”
In 2015, the Obama administration was criticized for a U.S.-led mission that targeted four prisoners at a prison in ISIS-held territory. When the commandos arrived at the compound, the prisoners were already gone. Some relatives blamed the White House for not acting quickly enough, reported the Washington Post at the time.