Kayla Mueller: Family of murdered aid worker says US government puts no ransom policy 'in front of American citizens' lives'

Carl Mueller said he had mixed feelings about the government’s refusal to negotiate with militant groups

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The Independent US

The family of aid worker Kayla Mueller have spoken of the pain of feeling unable to help their daughter and suggested that the US government put its policy of not paying ransoms “in front of American citizens' lives”.

In an interview with NBC’s Today programme, Carl Mueller said he had mixed feelings about the government’s refusal to negotiate with militant groups such as Isis who kidnapped foreigners. Other Western countries, though not the UK, are known to have paid millions to secure the release of their nationals.

“We understand the policy about not paying ransom,” he said. “But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home. And we tried. And we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives.”

 

Asked if the US government had done to save his 26-year-old daughter, he told the US broadcaster: “I think they wanted to. But I think again, it's the policy. And I don’t think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were.”

The young woman was captured in Syria in August 2013. Earlier this month, Isis sent information to Ms Mueller’s family that US intelligence officials used to determine she was dead. Isis claimed she had been killed in an air strike launched by Jordanian forces.

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In a letter sent to her family last spring, Ms Mueller wrote: “I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time."

MS Mueller's mother, Marsha Mueller, said that she put her daughter's fate in the hands of a higher power.

“I just saw such joy in her in helping. And it was something that she was called to do,” Marsha Mueller said. “A long time ago, I accepted that I can't control my kids. I can't control any of this.”

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