Kayla Mueller’s boyfriend tried to save her from ISIS. Although his name eluded the press directly after her death, Mueller’s Syrian boyfriend, Omar Alkani, attempted to save her from her fate. He lied to his captors, telling them that he and the Phoenix native were married. He braved an ISIS stronghold and demanded that Mueller be released. He was not a spy and no threat to the terrorist group, he told them. Alkani was rebuffed and held a prisoner for two months.
Mueller’s honesty led to her boyfriend’s imprisonment. When pressed by an ISIS judge, she admitted that the two were in fact betrothed and not wed. In truth, she did not know about the planned ruse to free her. Alkani told the Daily Mail that he loved Mueller and pledged that he would do anything, even risk his life, for her. He says that they were deeply in love and that she was “the most beautiful thing” to happen in his life. Her family too are left to mourn her memory. Her mother praises her fearless daughter who always had a love for others, lauding her humanitarianism and selfless devotion.
Senator John McCain knows what it is like to be a prisoner of war. He admits to feeling terrible that he failed to get Mueller back. Although not involved with any rescue attempt, the former POW does have relationships with President Barzani of the Iraqi and Kurdish nation. He even has a relationship with Qataris and Saudis. In all these relationships, he asked them to use their influence to communicate with those in charge to secure her release. Despite its terrible outcome, Senator McCain still does not think it is a good idea to ransom any hostage.
Her parents agreed. The United States was prepared to launch a rescue mission to free Mueller from ISIS, but her family ultimately agreed that such an attempt would be too risky. They preferred to bargain for her release. The captive’s boyfriend tried to save her, but to no avail. At one point, a deal was on the table to exchange her for imprisoned Pakistani Aafia Siddiqui, but the plan fell apart when other hostages were murdered.
Although her letters home point to the contrary, there were reports that she was not a hostage, but was in fact married off to an ISIS commander. Counterintelligence officials said that she was spotted in the company of an ISIS leader who they had been tracking, and had been in a forced marriage.
From her letters and circulating reports, Mueller’s faith supported her in her difficult times. She admits that she had been treated with respect and had even put on some weight in her captivity. She mentions feeling protected by the Heavenly Father and that she felt free even though she was imprisoned.
Mueller’s boyfriend tried to save her, but he certainly could not shield her from the airstrike attack that supposedly killed her. Her parents received verbal and physical confirmation of her death. According to reports, her ISIS captors, who Mueller said had treated her well, provided a picture of her body as proof of her death.
By Danielle Branch
Photo by Bill Gracey – Flickr License