ABC: ISIS leader al-Baghdadi repeatedly raped U.S. hostage Kayla Mueller

After reading this, knowing that this degenerate is supposedly alive and paralyzed due to a U.S. airstrike oddly makes me happier than I’d be if I knew he was dead. Now he’ll linger knowing that he’ll never again be able to exploit the absolute power the barbarians have handed to him.

One obvious question: Did he target her because she was American and he wanted to personally inflict some damage on the enemy? Or did he target her for no better reason than he had convenient access to her? Brutalizing captive women is, after all, part of ISIS’s M.O.

Mueller’s family confirmed to ABC News that government officials have told them that their daughter, who would have turned 27 on Friday, was the victim of repeated sexual assaults by al-Baghdadi.

“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, told ABC News…

Al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi who calls himself “Caliph” as ruler of the Islamic State, personally brought the enslaved 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, to be imprisoned inside the home of Abu Sayyaf, a Tunisian in charge of oil and gas revenue for the group, counter-terrorism officials have told ABC News over the past several months…

The information about al-Baghdadi’s extraordinary direct role in the captivity and physical abuse of Kayla Mueller was drawn from, among many sources, the U.S. debriefings of at least least two Yezedi teenage girls, ages 16 and 18, held as sex slaves in the Sayyaf compound as well as from the interrogation of Abu Sayyaf’s wife Umm Sayyaf, who was captured in the U.S. raid, the officials told ABC News.

Why the feds felt obliged to share all of this with Mueller’s parents, I don’t really understand. Abu Sayyaf, by the way, was killed by U.S. Special Forces in a raid on his Syrian compound earlier this year, after Mueller’s death was reported in February. ISIS claims that Mueller was killed when a Jordanian plane carrying out a coalition attack on ISIS positions bombed the building where she was being held. The U.S. disputes that but hasn’t said what they think the true cause of death was; they were able to confirm quickly that she’d been killed, though, because … ISIS sent photos of her body to her parents. It sounds from ABC’s reporting like the first inkling of Mueller’s whereabouts and what she’d been through came from two Yazidi girls rescued in the raid on Sayyaf’s HQ after she’d already been killed, but I wonder. Imagine if you were a natsec official and received information that Mueller was being held at a location that Special Forces couldn’t safely reach, that she was being routinely raped (by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself), and that she was likely to go on being raped indefinitely until she was eventually murdered on film for propaganda. That dilemma is a bit like the dilemma FDR faced in deciding whether to bomb concentration camps: Is the humane option to put the innocents out of their misery and wreck some of the machinery of death in the process or do you hold back and let the suffering go on in the hope/expectation of liberation eventually?

But as I say, apart from the rank of her tormentor, Mueller’s experience wasn’t all that different from what thousands of women inside the caliphate have endured. If you missed it in Headlines yesterday, this NYT piece on ISIS treating rape as some sort of act of Islamic devotion (“He kept telling me this is ibadah [worship]”) is a must-read. Keep this part in mind in case the day ever comes when the president has to make a tough call on using tactical nukes against these insects:

[T]here appears to be no bounds to what is sexually permissible. Child rape is explicitly condoned: “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty, if she is fit for intercourse,” according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute of a pamphlet published on Twitter last December.

One 34-year-old Yazidi woman, who was bought and repeatedly raped by a Saudi fighter in the Syrian city of Shadadi, described how she fared better than the second slave in the household — a 12-year-old girl who was raped for days on end despite heavy bleeding.

“He destroyed her body. She was badly infected. The fighter kept coming and asking me, ‘Why does she smell so bad?’ And I said, she has an infection on the inside, you need to take care of her,” the woman said.

He kept on raping her, making sure to pray beforehand each time. When the Yazidi woman tried to reason with him that a 12-year-old is still just a little girl, she was told in reply, “Having sex with her pleases God.”

In related news, Jeb Bush said yesterday he’s not ruling out enhanced interrogation of terrorists, including waterboarding, a position that will cost him exactly zero votes.