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Kayla Mueller’s Father: US Put Policy in Front of American Citizens’ Lives

© AP Photo / Felicia FonsecaMemorial for Kayla Mueller in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona
Memorial for Kayla Mueller in her hometown of Prescott, Arizona - Sputnik International
The father of Kayla Mueller, the development worker who was taken hostage and eventually killed by ISIL, has accused the Obama Administration of putting policy before the lives of American hostages.

Kayla Mueller (L), 26, an American humanitarian worker from Prescott, Arizona is pictured with her mother Marsha Mueller in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters February 6, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The US government has long had a standing policy of not negotiating with terrorists or paying ransom for hostages held by terrorist groups. Carl Mueller, in an interview with Today, said he could “understand the policy about not paying ransom.”

"But on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” he said. “And we tried. And we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens' lives."

Kayla was abducted in August of 2013 and her death was confirmed earlier this month. Kayla had managed to get a letter to her parents saying that she didn’t want them to be responsible for negotiations to free her. The so-called Islamic State claimed that Mueller was held in one of the buildings when it was hit by Jordanian fighter jets and she was killed in that operation.

Initially, the US and Jordan dismissed the claim though they eventually accepted proof of her death. US Secretary of State John Kerry then said that ISIL was solely responsible for her death since they had held her against her will.

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Mueller had traveled to Syria to help aid refugees of the civil war there, and worked for the humanitarian groups Support to Life and Spanish Doctors Without Borders. During high school, Mueller led a genocide awareness group and helped raise knowledge about Darfur.

The US policy is unique and other Western governments have paid ransoms for their own nationals who have been taken hostage. Officials in the US State Department have previously said ISIL has profited millions of dollars from such payments.

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