Terrorist’s widow indicted in connection with rape, death of American hostage

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/02/09/terrorists-widow-indicted-in-connection-with-rape-death-of-american-hostage/

(CNSNews.com) – An Iraqi woman in whose home Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi allegedly raped an American aid worker has been indicted in the U.S. for her role in the conspiracy that led to the death of the hostage.

Nisreen Assad Ibrahim Bahar, 25, is the widow of Abu Sayyaf, a senior ISIS leader killed during a U.S. Special Forces raid on their home in eastern Syria last May. Bahar, also known as Umm Sayyaf, was captured during the raid and a young Yazidi woman being held as a slave was rescued.

Um Sayyaf is currently in detention in Iraq, where she is facing terror-related charges. The Department of Defense transferred her last August into the custody of the Interior Ministry of the autonomous Kurdish regional government.

According to an affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, other hostages who were held at the Sayyafs’ residences included Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker kidnapped in Aleppo in August 2013, and allegedly held by ISIS until her death last February.

Abu Sayyaf served as ISIS’ “minister for oil and gas” and was previously responsible for the terrorist group’s media. He reportedly directly to Baghdadi.

At the Sayyafs’ residences, young men held captive were “sold or traded to ISIL men,” according to the affidavit.

“Ms. Mueller and the other young women had no freedom and were compelled to serve at the behest of the ISIL men,” it says. “The young women were characterized as being ‘owned’ by the ISIL men who acquired them.”

“While in captivity, Kayla Jean Mueller was sexually abused by Baghdadi, who forced her to have sex with him. [Umm Sayyaf] knew how Ms. Mueller was treated by Baghdadi when Ms. Mueller was held against her will in the defendant’s home.”

“The defendant admitted that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ‘owned’ Ms. Mueller during the period of time that Ms. Mueller was in captivity at the Sayyaf residence,” it said. “The defendant admitted that ‘owning’ is equivalent to slavery.”

The affidavit also said that Umm Sayyaf had threatened Mueller and the other female hostages, “telling them she would kill them if they did not listen to her.”

It says Umm Sayyaf admitted to investigators that she was responsible for holding the hostages captive at home while her husband traveled on ISIS business. She also admitted that their residences were used to shelter ISIS fighters, and to store weapons and “large sums of U.S. currency that ISIL acquired through its oil and gas business and other illegal activities.”

Mueller was killed last February in still-unclear circumstances. ISIS in a propaganda message charged that she was killed in a building hit by a Jordanian airstrike on ISIS’ self-declared capital in Syria, Raqqa.

In a statement after her death was confirmed – by photos sent by ISIS to the family – President Obama praised her compassion and dedication to serving others.

“No matter how long it takes, the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death,” he said.

“ISIL is a hateful and abhorrent terrorist group whose actions stand in stark contrast to the spirit of people like Kayla,” Obama said. “On this day, we take comfort in the fact that the future belongs not to those who destroy, but rather to the irrepressible force of human goodness that Kayla Mueller shall forever represent.”

On the same day, Obama confirmed in an interview that an attempt to rescue Mueller had not succeeded, apparently a reference to a July 2014 Special Forces raid near Raqqa.

“We devoted enormous resources, always devote enormous resources to freeing captives or hostages anywhere in the world,” Obama told Buzzfeed.

“I deployed an entire operation – at significant risk – to rescue not only her but the other individuals who had been held, and probably missed them by a day or two, precisely because we had that commitment.”

— Written by Patrick Goodenough