Hostage Kayla Mueller’s Death “Deserves No Tears” Because She Supported Terrorism – Fiction!

Hostage Kayla Mueller’s Death “Deserves No Tears” Because She Supported Terrorism – Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:  

Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old woman who died while being held hostage by the Islamic State terrorist group, “deserves no tears” because she supported terrorist groups.

The Truth:


Kayla Mueller did not support terrorist groups, and the idea that her death “deserves no tears” is an incendiary claim that was designed to provoke a strong reaction.

A family spokesperson said the Islamic State took Kayla Mueller captive outside a Spanish Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria, in August of 2013. The White House confirmed on February 10, 2015, that Mueller was killed while being held captive by the Islamic State, but the circumstances of her death are unknown. Mueller had worked with humanitarian organizations in India, Israel and the Palestine territories before she went to Turkey to aid Syrian refugees, according to the statement. 

Shortly after Kayla Mueller’s death, false claims that she had supported Palestinian terrorist groups began to appear in forwarded emails like this one: 

“The myth that this ISIS hostage was a wonderful altruistic young woman is a lie. She was an anti-Israel activist and human shield for Palestinian Terror Groups. Kayla Mueller was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) who spent at least two years working with that terrorist support group.”

The International Solidarity Movement said that Kayla Mueller did volunteer with the group for two months in 2010. However, the email’s characterization of the ISM as terrorist group is false. According to the ISM’s website: 

“The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the long-entrenched and systematic oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian population, using non-violent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded in August 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by being immediately alongside Palestinians in olive groves, on school runs, at demonstrations, within villages being attacked, by houses being demolished or where Palestinians are subject to consistent harassment or attacks from soldiers and settlers as well as numerous other situations.

“Currently, ISM supports weekly Palestinian-led, non-violent demonstrations against land confiscation in several villages, including Nabi Saleh, Kufr Qaddum, Ni’lin and Bil’in. Previously, ISM supported demonstrations in the villages of Budrus and Biddu, where peaceful community marches have succeeded in altering the Annexation Wall’s path.” 

ISM said that Mueller participated in a handful of nonviolent protests and accompanied children to school during her two-month stint with the group in 2010. Her involvement was kept under wraps during her captivity out of fear that it could jeopardize her safety. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to Kayla Mueller’s death is further proof that the chain email’s claims are false. Netanyahu said, “On behalf of the people of Israel, I wish to send condolences to President Obama, the American people and the family of Kayla Mueller. We stand with you.” 

After her two-month stint with the ISM in 2010, Mueller volunteered with numerous humanitarian organizations, including an HIV/AIDS clinic in Arizona. Her work with Support to Life and the Danish Refugee Council brought her to the border of Turkey and Syria to help refugees in December of 2013.

The chain email’s claim that Kayla Mueller “deserves no tears” because she spent two months volunteering with a nonviolent Palestinian group is baseless.