ISIS Declares Airstrike Killed a U.S. Hostage

She had always been the unidentified, lone female American hostage of the Islamic State. For nearly 17 months, while her fellow American captives were beheaded one after another in serial executions posted on YouTube, Kayla Mueller’s name remained a closely guarded secret, whispered among reporters, government officials and hostage negotiators — all fearing that any public mention might imperil her life.


On Friday, the Islamic State confirmed her identity, announcing that Ms. Mueller, a 26-year-old aid worker from Prescott, Ariz., had been killed in the falling rubble of a building in northern Syria that it said had been struck by bombs from a Jordanian warplane. Both the Jordanian and American governments said there was no proof, even as they rushed to deplore her possible death. Top Jordanian officials said the announcement was cynical propaganda.


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