VIDEO & PHOTOS: Daesh Footage Sent to American Hostage’s Parents Revealed

Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:40:06

An ISIS hostage video of Kayla Mueller has been revealed – showing the murdered aid worker pleading for help from captivity.

Mueller is only seen from the chest up, wearing a green shirt and with her hair covered with a black hijab.

An ISIS hostage video of Kayla Mueller has been revealed – showing the murdered aid worker pleading for help from captivity

Clearly in distress, she says: ‘My name is Kayla Mueller. I need your help. ‘I’ve been here too long and I’ve been very sick and it’s it’s very terrifying here.’

The 10-second clip ends before she reveals where ‘here’ is – but Mueller was filmed for the proof-of-life video by ISIS militants in Syria which was handed to her parents by the FBI on August 20, 2013, ABC News reports.

‘You just go into almost a catatonic state, I think. You can’t even stand up,’ her father Carl Mueller told Brian Ross about his reaction to seeing his daughter in the video three years ago.

The Muellers (above) said they trusted non-governmental organizations 'like sheep'

In an interview to air on 20/20 on Friday, her mother Marsha also spoke of her heartbreak at seeing her daughter as a helpless hostage.

‘I saw how thin she looked but I saw that her eyes were very clear and steady,’ she said. ‘It broke my heart but I also saw her strength.’

Mueller, of Prescott, Arizona, and her boyfriend were abducted by ISIS gunmen from a Doctors Without Borders vehicle near a hospital in Aleppo run by the humanitarian group on August 4, 2013.

Marsha and Carl Mueller (pictured in a video appeal to ISIS) said that although they got had the hostage video in August 2013, they didn't begin negotiations for 10 months

At the time, ISIS were not as widely known as they are now and sent the clip of Mueller, one of their first Western hostages, in a bid to secure a millions of dollars in ransom.

The 22-megabyte video was sent to a friend of the aid worker, who passed it on to authorities, who then handed it over to her parents.

‘I saw how thin she looked but I saw that her eyes were very clear and steady,’ Mueller's mother Marsha said. ‘It broke my heart but I also saw her strength’

Chris Voss, a retired hostage negotiator for the FBI, looked at the clip provided by ABC. He said ISIS would have rehearsed and filmed this brief clip a number of times to get it right and put makeup on Mueller to make her appear in good health.

‘They want to put enough out there to start a negotiation. And that's what this is intended to do,’ he told ABC.

But although the video was received by the Muellers within weeks of their daughter’s capture, they didn’t begin negotiations for 10 months.

They pinned their hopes on the non-governmental aid groups their daughter had worked for, including the Danish Refugee Council, Support to Life and the NGO Forum.

They said the groups told them the government has stepped in to help and would bring their daughter home safe.

Carl Mueller told ABC that his family trusted them all ‘like sheep.’

They didn’t start negotiating for their daughter’s freedom until May 23, 2014 – which is when they say Doctors Without Borders finally handed over an email address from Mueller’s kidnappers which they had got from one of their own workers who had been held hostage and freed.

Days later, they received an audio clip with Kayla’s voice telling them that she remains healthy as well the price of her freedom.

Mueller, from Prescott, Arizona, is pictured with her family and pets as a youngster

She told them that her kidnappers wanted Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s release in exchange for her and if not, then five million euros.

Doctors Without Borders refused to help negotiate for the release of Kayla Mueller (pictured) from her ISIS captors, her parents have said

Then, they heard what would be their daughter’s last spoken word to them: ‘Goodbye.’

Mueller had been held in captivity for 18 months, and kept as a sex slave in a Syrian dungeon until she was killed in an airstrike February last year.

The Muellers have said that Support to Life was helpful, but a small organization that couldn’t handle a hostage case.
But they blasted Doctors Without Borders for refusing to help negotiate for their daughter’s release – even though she was taken from a vehicle belonging to the charity.

Marsha and Carl Mueller said the group withheld vital information about their daughter they had gotten from freed hostages who worked for the organization.

The group has said it 'made a decision to share the email address at a later time out of concern for the safety of still-detained prisoners.'

'We regret the fact that Marsha Mueller had to reach out to us first before we did so; we should have reached out to the family first, and we have apologized to the Muellers for that,' the group has said.

Mueller was taken hostage with her boyfriend, Omar Alkhani (pictured together) in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo

The Muellers recorded a phone conversation, provided to ABC, with a senior official with MSF ten months after their daughter was kidnapped – asking the group for help with negotiations.

'No,' the official replied.

'The crisis management team that we have installed for our five people and that managed the case for our people will be closed down in the next week … because our case is closed.'

Mueller's father called Doctors Without Borders a 'fabulous organization and they do wonderful work'.

'But somewhere in a boardroom, they decided to leave our daughter there to be tortured and raped and ultimately murdered.'

Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières and MSF) called Mueller’s death a ‘terrible and tragic loss,’ but noted that their security policy forbids people from certain countries, including the US, from working at or even visiting the hospital.

They also said that they are not in a position to help with cases that don’t involve their own staff.

It added that staff at the hospital had no ideal that an American was going to turn up.

'She was not expected and no one at the hospital had any indication she was coming,' it said.

'If they had, they would have stated in no uncertain terms that she should not come, or cancelled the visit altogether,' the statement said.

'This was because Aleppo was well known to be a very dangerous place, a city at war (as it remains to this day), where the risk level for westerners, and Americans in particular, was very high.'

However, in a lengthy statement, the organization explained the decisions that were made following Mueller's abduction in August 2013.

'As an organization that works in conflict zones and has had several of our colleagues and friends killed while trying to provide emergency assistance, we know this all too well.

'In this instance, the Muellers asked MSF to actively intervene to help achieve Kayla’s release and we did not do so.

‘There are several reasons for this: The risks go beyond any one location.

'If MSF were generally considered by would-be abductors to be a negotiator of release for non-MSF staff, there is no doubt that this would increase the risk levels in many locations, put our field staff, medical projects, and patients in danger, and possibly force us to close projects where needs are often acute.

‘It would limit MSF’s ability to provide life-saving care to people caught in dangerous conflicts.

'Furthermore, MSF is an emergency medical organization. We are not hostage negotiators.'

It added: 'There is risk inherent in humanitarian work in conflict, but we rely on people who are willing to take those risks to help us reach people in need around the world.

'It’s awful to know that people like Kayla Mueller, who carried a very similar spirit into the world, died during efforts to reach some of those same people.'

Mueller was repeatedly forced to have sex with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (above)

Jason Cone, executive director of MSF-USA, added: 'From everything that I have learned from speaking with Kayla’s parents, Carl and Marsha, and from her passionate writing and advocacy about people in crisis, whether in Darfur, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Tibet, or India, she exhibited the same incredible compassion and connection to neglected people that I see in my colleagues every day.

'All of us at MSF want to share our condolences and sympathies for the horrific experience that the Mueller family has lived through over the past three years. No one should have to endure such an experience.'

The group has had at least seven staff members taken hostage and released by ISIS – after they helped negotiate ransom payments for some.

But MSF said they had no moral obligation to help Mueller.

'We can't be in the position of negotiating for people who don't work for us,' Cone told ABC. 'I don't think there was a moral responsibility.'

S/SH 11

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