DAMASCUS – The wife of a militant leader in the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) has been charged in the death of American aid worker Kayla Mueller, the Department of Justice said on Monday.
Umm Sayyaf, 25, an Iraqi member of ISIS and wife of renowned jihadi leader Abu Sayyaf, is accused of supporting ISIS militants, including her husband, in a “conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization,” according the the Justice Department, which said that the conspiracy resulted in Mueller’s death.
Muller was kidnapped by ISIS militants in northern Syria in Summer 2013. The 26-year-old aid worker was reported dead in February 2015 in Iraq.
One year after her abduction in Syria, Mueller was taken into ISIS custody in Iraq along with other captives under the supervision of the Sayyafs in September 2014.
The American captive was reportedly sexually abused by ISIS supreme leader (aka Caliph) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi under Umm Sayyaf’s watch.
Abu Sayyaf was reported dead in a U.S. operation in northern Iraq in May 2015, while his wife Umm Sayyaf was arrested. She is now being held in Iraq on charges of terrorism.
“We fully support the Iraqi prosecution of Sayyaf and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding Sayyaf accountable for her crimes,” Assistant Attorney General John P. Carlin said in a statement on Monday.
“At the same time, these charges reflect that the U.S. justice system remains a powerful tool to bring to bear against those who harm our citizens abroad. We will continue to pursue justice for Kayla and for all American victims of terrorism,” Carlin added.
Mueller began working with the victims of Syria conflict for the humanitarian group Support to Life in 2012. She disappeared after driving into the northern Syrian city of Aleppo in August 2013.
By: Laila Majdalawi
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