Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 11, 2015

Who Murdered Kayla Jean Mueller?

The U.S. claims that the Islamic State killed its hostage Kayla Jean Mueller. But the sequence of events and the surrounding circumstance point to her being killed, willful or not, by an U.S. ally and based on U.S. intelligence.

Last Thursday the Jordanian air-force attacked targets U.S. intelligence associated with the Islamic State in Raqqa. The next day the Islamic State said that a hostage, a U.S. citizen, was killed in the attack:

The terrorist group claimed Kayla Jean Mueller was killed by Jordanian aircraft rockets that a struck the building in which she was being held.
"[..] we can confirm the death of an American hostage by the rockets which targeted that area."

The group released images showing a damaged building it said had been targeted in air strikes, but no photos of the hostage.

Jordanian fighter jets bombed Islamic State sites on Thursday, after the militants burned to death a captured Jordanian pilot.

The White House, State Department and Pentagon said they could not confirm the unsubstantiated report.

How are official statements after a confirmed attack with pictures of the destroyed location "unsubstantiated"?

Over the weekend the Islamic State sent pictures of the dead body of the hostage to her family. The family acknowledged and the FBI confirmed that the hostage is dead:

The U.S. government has confirmed that Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old American woman held hostage by the Islamic State in Syria, was killed, reaching that conclusion after the group sent pictures of her body to her family.
The information available to intelligence officials, [White House press secretary Josh] Earnest said, “did not allow them to arrive at a conclusion about her precise cause of death” or when it occurred. He and other U.S. officials said they would not provide details of the pictures her family received, “out of respect for the family.”
U.S. officials have expressed strong skepticism that she was killed in an airstrike. Earnest repeated earlier Jordanian statements that the target hit in the Friday strike by the Jordanian air force — a building that militants showed in photographs posted online at the time they announced Mueller’s death — was a “weapons compound” near Raqqa that had also been hit in earlier strikes.

“The information that we have, because this airstrike was coordinated with the United States military, is that there was no evidence of civilians in the target area prior to the coalition airstrike taking place,” Earnest said.

Absence of evidence of civilians being there does not mean absence of civilians. So was this like one of the usual "wedding bombed" U.S. intelligence screw ups?

The Islamic State has killed other foreign hostages in propaganda stunts. It distributed high quality videos of the ritual killings. If the Islamic State killed Miss Mueller why did it not use the killing for another propaganda snuff movie?

The path of action - air-strike by Jordan - IS claim of her death - photos of the hit building - photos of the dead hostage - are all consistent with the hostage dying in the air attack. There is no information that allows a different conclusion and, as the White House spokesperson claims, there is no certainty about the cause of her death. That at least tells us that she was not beheaded.

How then can the Pentagon claim, with no evidence supporting it, that the Islamic State killed the hostage?

The Pentagon says American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller died at the hands of Islamic State and not in a Jordanian airstrike targeting the militant group.

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby was asked Tuesday if there was any doubt who killed the aid worker.

He replied: “No doubt. ISIL,” using the initials the group is known by.

Kirby says U.S. officials still don’t know how Mueller died. But he added that officials are certain it was not in one of the airstrikes Jordan launched in retaliation for the killing of one of its pilots.

"We don't know how she died but it wasn't us" is quite weak in my view. I do not believe this indeed "unsubstantiated" claim of the Pentagon.

It is highly likely that the hostage, as the Islamic State consistently claims, was killed in the Jordanian air-strike which was based on U.S. intelligence of Islamic State compounds in Raqqa. The willful killing of a hostage taken by an enemy, to avoid negotiations and blackmailing, is not unheard of. Whether this attack was planned and executed with the knowledge of the hostage being there or without such knowledge can not (yet) be concluded.

Posted by b on February 11, 2015 at 9:38 UTC | Permalink


' there was no evidence of civilians in the target area prior to the coalition airstrike taking place '

As you point out that's what the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate always says after his CIA gameboys incinerate a family with their drone-fired Hellfire missiles. The NPPL doesn't even know the names of the people he incinerates. His MO guarantees the brutal murder of civilians, and still he goes on.

Anything to keep the MIC well-fed. But he's covered by his Nobel Peace Prize ... its a license to kill innocents.

Just like Alfred Nobel planned it to be.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 11 2015 10:55 utc | 1

Mea culpa is rarely found in Duhmerican dictionaries. What other would you expect? My bad? From folks who believe they walk on water?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Feb 11 2015 10:56 utc | 2

Terrorist kills 3 Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Chapel Hill Police have released the names of three people who were shot and killed on Tuesday evening in the Finley Forest Condominium on Summerwalk Circle, near the Friday Center off Highway 54. Police also said the shooter was in custody.

Those victims were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill, Yusor Mohammad, 21, of Chapel Hill, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh.

Police said Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, of Chapel Hill has been charged with three counts of first degree murder. He's being held in the Durham County Jail.

Apparently this is not being widely reported in the US. The link above is to a user's blog at democratic underground. I saw the news at Iran TV and looked ... the Independent has it, and local papers in North Carolina. I chose this link because I doubt that we'll see 'Terrorist kills 3 Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina' in any of the MSM ... just like we never hear of the Nobel Peace Laureate's terrorist murders called out as what they are.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 11 2015 11:03 utc | 3

Kayla committed suicide. There are many more like her. The weapon they'll use, the same weapon Kayla used, is naiveté.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 11 2015 11:42 utc | 4

Posted by: jfl | Feb 11, 2015 6:03:13 AM | 3

The American Sniper effect.

But the Greek elections are more important and pressing. Ben is going to eat those words for the rest of his born days, but no problem, that's been his steady diet for some time now so his digestive system's adjusted.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 11 2015 11:47 utc | 5

"Kayla committed suicide."

No, it was assisted suicide. Her government and the MSM persuaded her that the Assad regime alone was Syria was despicable and that something had to be done about it,

Posted by: blowback | Feb 11 2015 12:02 utc | 6

What about her abduction? Did ISIS have a presence inside Aleppo in August, 2013? Was Mueller abducted by one of Obama's "moderate" rebel groups and then turned over to ISIS?

Posted by: carsonite | Feb 11 2015 12:52 utc | 7

Posted by: carsonite | Feb 11, 2015 7:52:35 AM | 7

You win the Kewpie Doll!
Obama killed her. Syria is Bibi & Obama's Fake War. She died for Bibi & the 1%.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 11 2015 13:45 utc | 8


Some reports claim that the killer "expressed atheist views" on his Facebook page. Should we use this crime to make a blanket condemnation of atheism then?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Feb 11 2015 16:00 utc | 9

I don't believe for a minute that the US didn't know civilian hostages were in one of their "targets". Even if you don't know which one, it's an odds game, and the more you bomb, the closer you get to 100%. Having Jordan do it (the morons! they are going to have some blowback!) was just icing on the cake. Then using Kayla's picture and sweet persona while blaming ISIS (and ignoring the ISM part) was sugary flowers on the icing on the cake.

All day long yesterday US media said there were no civilians killed in the attacks. The US perps know very well they kill lots of civilians.

Anyone who thinks the US gov't isn't purposely lying and capitalizing off the murder of an ISM volunteer must think gov'ts tell the truth during "wartime". When has that ever happened?

Posted by: anon | Feb 11 2015 16:10 utc | 10

Fuck Isis !
Screw your conspiracy theories...
I'm sure they dropped a load of rubble on top of her for propaganda purposes weeks ago.
Pure evil and the world has seen them for who they are. They are the real civilian killers. Killing children, gays and anyone else that gets in there way.
When we land on there ground they will hide like chickens

Posted by: Todd | Feb 11 2015 16:26 utc | 11

Chapel Hill police are now saying the killing of the 3 Muslims was the result of a neighbor dispute over a parking space!

Posted by: lysias | Feb 11 2015 16:56 utc | 12

re: the Chapel Hill American terrorist, I'm beginning to think that the 'threat level' system was not invented for the populace, but for the media as a sort of guide on hysterical handwaving.

At this important time, on the cusp of 'new' wars simultaneously kicking off all over the globe, we simply can't have that sort of introspection. No one in the media is unaware of this.

Posted by: L Bean | Feb 11 2015 17:02 utc | 13

The U.S. delegation to the state funeral of former German President von Weizsäcker is only going to be headed by U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson. Just like that march in Paris! Should this be considered a dis? Is it irritation over Merkel's opposing military measures in Ukraine?

Posted by: lysias | Feb 11 2015 17:03 utc | 14

UPDATE: I shouldn't have used a future tense, as it turns out the funeral has already been held, earlier today, Feb. 11. And Biden has instead been attending, with Eric Holder, the awarding of the Medal of Valor to several policemen.

Why couldn't Biden have gone to Germany, and left Holder to preside over the Washington ceremony?

Posted by: lysias | Feb 11 2015 17:08 utc | 15

Biden's been stuck in Ukraine for who knows how long, wrangling his puppets. He needed some me time.

Posted by: L Bean | Feb 11 2015 17:12 utc | 16


Thank you, Todd for the real Amerikan view of the situation in the ME. Are you ready to lead these troops you desire to teach the IS a lesson? The last time US troops faced them we had to bribe the locals to protect our boys from these rascals.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 11 2015 17:16 utc | 17

Turns out Biden was at that NATO conference in Munich last Saturday. Biden: US Will Help Ukraine Defend Itself if Necessary. So why couldn't he have stuck around until today's state funeral?

Posted by: lysias | Feb 11 2015 17:28 utc | 18

maybe i am wrong, but i suspect the reason the offical usa line up her death is described as 'unsubstantiated' or 'unknown' is they want to be in the clear should litigation arise.. i don't know if any of the innocent folks dying from drones and bombs and whatever else the usa drops out of the sky, have ever been able to make a claim on the usa's responsibility for paying the family for these terrorist acts..

bottom line - usa doesn't want to be held 'accountable' for it's ongoing terrorist activities.. i don't recall the usa being held accountable for much of anything in all it's foreign escapades to destroy others while believing in the sanctity of itself..

Posted by: james | Feb 11 2015 17:51 utc | 19

@18 -headline translation : "biden will help ukraine murder itself if necessary."

Posted by: james | Feb 11 2015 17:52 utc | 20

Relief for Western economies : al Qaeda in Yemen pledge allegiance to IS. Unending wars in perspective. Thanks God the Gulfees still have $$ to spend

Posted by: Mina | Feb 11 2015 18:14 utc | 21

I'm a USN veteran and I hate to write this but the attached video shows what a winner looks like ...

Belarus: Lukashenko welcomes Putin ahead of peace talks

Posted by: Alberto | Feb 11 2015 19:26 utc | 22

Russia officially acknowledges losing Su-24 bomber near Ukrainian border


Posted by: Alberto | Feb 11 2015 19:36 utc | 23

#4 cold Kayla committed suicide.

Ah you must have learned from the masters -- that is what Israel said about the death of Rachel Corrie. Both of these young woman were volunteers who worked in the west bank against home demolitions also.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 11 2015 19:54 utc | 24

The Russians are apparently reporting that the SU-24 crashed in the vicinity of Volgograd (the former Stalingrad) while on a training mission.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 11 2015 21:28 utc | 25

re #4... I think it's time for technical countermeasures. Paste this into a userscript to ignore the house trolls (Firefox users see Greasemonkey documentation; Chrom(e|ium) users may have to create a moafilter.user.js file with these contents then browse to the file in the browser).

// ==UserScript==
// @name Moon of Alabama troll filter
// @namespace
// @description Filters out trolls.
// @include*
// @version 1
// ==/UserScript==

var tests = [/Cold N. Holefield/,/slothrop/];

(function() { var items = window.document.querySelectorAll(".posted"); for (var i = 0; i < items.length; i++) { var ih = items[i].innerHTML; (tests.some(function(t) { if (t.test(ih)) items[i] = "none"; }))}})();

Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 11 2015 22:07 utc | 26

#26 Too much trouble. I find cold amusing. Sloth not so much but it is easy to not read him. What is wrong with b allowing a few house clowns?

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 11 2015 23:32 utc | 27

Does MOA believe at this point, that the benefit of the doubt belongs to Rita Katz; in that her Videos are legitimate - iow, genuine beheadings, and a death by cage burning, and not scripted theatrical productions created by Rita Katz and her accomplices?

Posted by: fast freddy | Feb 11 2015 23:35 utc | 28


Oh come on!

Are you seriously suggesting that there are still people out there that are that stupid as to believe that the obviously fake crap Mossad racist zionazi Rita Katz produces/"finds", is in fact the product of genuine grassroots muslim rebels?

Surely nobody's that stupid, are they?

Posted by: THC | Feb 12 2015 0:19 utc | 29

@ #28


You won, this thread...

SITE Intelligence group, a private company was originally formed in 2002 and is led by Rita Katz, an Israeli who was born to a Jewish family in Iraq in 1963.
Her family was expelled from the country after Saddam Hussein seized power, and resettled in Israel.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Feb 12 2015 0:22 utc | 30

Kayla Mueller=aafia siddique

neuroscience is a dangerous tool in the hands of the wrong they say.two dots on a page

Posted by: mcohen | Feb 12 2015 0:41 utc | 31

Considering that Congress has just been asked to approve a bill which enables the prez (whoever he/she may be) to wage unending war everywhere, for ever, I would say the odds of this bombing being a deliberate tactic to kill Mueller, a dead set certainty.
Expect more of these set-ups to create the fervor necessary to inculcate an atmosphere so toxic against IS and unquestioning of its role (the inevitable end result of the bloody genocidal massacres amerika and its deputies created in the ancient state of Iraq), that a groundswell of public opinion akin to that post september 2001 action will push the few remaining 'nervous nellies' in both houses who may have questioned the danger to amerikans this bill creates, into voting for that we have long predicted -unceasing, unsupervised and unreported war across the globe. There are no washington pols who give a flying fuck about humans outside amerika and as I intimated just now, there are very few left with any concern for anything about 'fellow amerikans' outside of commandeering their vote.
The bill doesn't place any geographical limits on where amerika can put its murdering thugs to fight IS or any group believed to have links to IS or share IS goals.

Even the indoctrinated from cradle to grave 'average amerikan' could struggle with the omnipotent and open ended nature of this bill so, it is fair to expect the spring/summer of 2015 amerika to be loaded chock-full of shock horror antics by 'those people'. Yes - or people purporting to be 'those people'.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Feb 12 2015 0:53 utc | 32

#26 Too much trouble. I find cold amusing. Sloth not so much but it is easy to not read him. What is wrong with b allowing a few house clowns?
Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 11, 2015 6:32:45 PM | 27

Central to the 'fun' of trolling is getting targets to waste time by reacting.
It would be a resounding victory for Trolldom if b started micromanaging the comments, as they arrived AND visitors wasted time installing cleansing software on their own computers.

This blog will always attract pro-Empire trolls. My guess is that b has struck a balance which he deems to be practical - not perfect. The regular commenters here who lack the wisdom to ignore trolls are a slightly bigger problem than the trolls, themselves.
Apart from anything else, it is extraordinarily disrespectful to b to disregard his regular reminder: "Do not feed the troll."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 12 2015 1:03 utc | 33


Tsk tsk, you crackpot conspiracy theorist

Posted by: THC | Feb 12 2015 1:04 utc | 34


(function() {var items = window.document.querySelectorAll(".posted"); for (var i = 0; i < items.length; i++) {var ih = items[i].innerHTML; (tests.some(function(t) {if (t.test(ih)) items[i] = "none"; }))}});

Posted by: ChipNikh | Feb 12 2015 8:06 utc | 35


EU leaders could not care in the least about "Obama's New War Powers". They are only interested in 'rotating' EUs economy out of their post-2011 flatline doldrums and out of the 'Greece effect' which is pushing the USD to unsustainable heights, and most likely will do to the USA economy through an avalanche of international demand for US Treasuries, what the relatively huge Franco-Prussian War reparations (easily repaid by France with two huge bond issues) subsequently did to German monetary velocity in the bubble:crash runup to WW1.

Nor should anyone from MoA care about "Obama's New War Powers", since the only sustaining trope here at MoA is the back-and-forth badminton game commentary of favorite war stories, and it is obvious to every onlooker we are heading into an economic wars global inferno. China is approaching zero GDP growth, the Baltic Dry Index is lowest in decades, SEAsian production volumes have cratered, and idle workers are drinking themselves blind in fear.

The O'mperor needs more bread and circuses!

Posted by: ChipNikh | Feb 12 2015 8:38 utc | 36

Alberto @23

Nice try, but Marinovka, the location of a Russian military airbase btw, is more than 170 miles from the Ukrainian border. Now I know that in terms of Russia's vast size that is nothing but most Europeans, including Ukrainians, would not regards something 170 miles as being near. It's like saying Angers is near to Paris or Frankfurt-am-Main is near to Munich. And, don't forget, Ukraine is just over 800 miles across.

Then just look at the "Stories of the day" on the website you link to:
Debaltseve salient - it's a pocket
Fighting for the Donetsk airport - that ended a few days ago
Terrorist attacks in Ukraine - who are the terrorists?
That "organ" seems to publish nothing but Ukrainian propaganda and is as reliable as the newspaper Pravda used to be thirty years ago or the New York Times or Washington Post are today.
Please try harder next time.

Posted by: blowback | Feb 12 2015 10:01 utc | 37

Asad BBC interview debriefing

Posted by: Mina | Feb 12 2015 11:59 utc | 38

Numbers matter
SOHR is all over the place with numbers. This is his latest: here. The new number is 210k; he says that 100k are civilians 80%+ of which are men. He estimates 85k+ fighters unaccounted for across all sides. 1.5 million injured. 50% displaced. His detailed stats are here. His number of civilians jumped 40K from December stats. And his 210K total is off by ~35K if I’m totaling his numbers correctly. According to the numbers he’s listing, the total is 245K...

Posted by: Mina | Feb 12 2015 13:35 utc | 39

#34 thc

no crack or pot....isis took hostages in an effort to get aafia siddique out of jail in the usa.

ignorance is bliss turns wine into piss

Posted by: mcohen | Feb 13 2015 12:04 utc | 41

RE: #25. Tell me you are trolling. Censor news is Ukrainian propaganda and is less well informed than the Ukrainian government, if that is possible.

Posted by: spokanegary | Feb 14 2015 7:46 utc | 42

The comments to this entry are closed.