Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-styled “caliph” of Islamic State, IS, repeatedly raped an American humanitarian aid worker held captive by his outfit for a year and half till her death early this year.
He kept Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old aid worker, at the house of a top lieutenant, where he raped her repeatedly during frequent visits, US officials told ABC news.
Multiple reports have drawn a culture of enslavement and rape of captured women, even minors, in the organization, which has tended to perversely justify it as a religious calling.
IS fighters pray before and after the act, according to victims cited by The New York Times in a report earlier this week titled “ISIS enshrines a theology of rape”.
Mueller, who would have turned 27 on Friday, was captured by the IS in 2013, and was declared dead in February in circumstances that remain unclear.
Her parents, who live in Arizona, told ABC, “We were told Kayla was tortured, that she was the property of al-Baghdadi. We were told that in June by the government.”
Much of US account of Mueller’s ordeal is based on information from victims freed from the house of al-Bhagdadi’s lieutenant raided by US commandoes in Syria in March.
Abu Sayyaf, the man who managed oil revenues for the outfit, died in the raid but the commandoes found two teenage girls — from the minority Yazidi community — held as sex slaves.
They also captured Abu Sayyaf’s wife, Umm Sayyaf, who “spilled everything”, according to US officials, and provided information about other senior IS operatives.
Mueller was held at the same house.
“Baghdadi was at the house of Sayyaf. He delivered Kayla Mueller, live and in person,” a counter-terrorism official briefed on the case told ABC News.
And sexually abused her, repeatedly. They were not married, as suggested in some earlier reports that had sought to portray her as a willing partner based on a letter she wrote home.
Mueller had said in the letter she was completely unharmed and was healthy — had even put on weight — and that she was being treated with “utmost respect+kindness”.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.