Captured ISIS Fighters Might Know Where Mueller's Body Is

They're said to be pointing out grave sites
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2018 10:41 AM CST
Search Underway for Bodies of US Hostages Killed in Syria
Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Ariz.   (AP Photo/The Daily Courier, Jo. L. Keener, File)

The capture of two ISIS fighters who may know the whereabouts of Kayla Mueller's body has raised hope that her parents might finally be able to put their daughter to rest. ISIS said the aid worker kidnapped in Syria in 2013 was killed in 2015 when a Jordanian airstrike hit the building housing her in Raqqa, and while her death was confirmed, her body was never recovered. Marsha and Carl Mueller hope El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey—two of four British jihadists dubbed "The Beatles"—will now lead authorities to her remains, and perhaps to the remains of other Americans, reports the Arizona Republic. The men have been described as guards under Mohammed Emwazi, or Jihadi John, who carried out the executions of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Peter Kassig before his reported death in 2016.

Since their capture in eastern Syria early last month, the two fighters held by Syrian Kurdish forces have been pointing out burial locations, the Muellers say they've been told. Early last week, a counterterrorism official told ABC News that ground searches had begun. "I am grateful for all these efforts but bringing these two jihadists to justice gives us more hope and solace than the return of Jim's remains," said Diane Foley, Foley's mother. The parents of Foley and Mueller joined the parents of Sotloff and Kassig in calling for life in prison for the captives in a New York Times op-ed a week ago. "Execution could be misconstrued as martyrdom, perpetuating violence and diminishing America's stature as a defender of human rights," they wrote, requesting a trial in the US or an international court. (More Kayla Mueller stories.)

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