Kayla Mueller, the U.S. aid worker who died earlier this year while being held hostage by Islamic State militants, was raped repeatedly by the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi while in captivity in Syria, U.S. officials said on Friday.
The officials confirmed a report by ABC News, which said Mueller’s family had been told by U.S. government officials that their daughter, who was 26 at the time of her death, had been sexually assaulted by al-Baghdadi.
The officials spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. The White House declined to comment.
“We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government,” Kayla’s parents, Carl and Marsha Mueller, were quoted as telling ABC News.