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Arizona native abducted, killed by ISIS recognized during Trump’s SOTU

Kayla Mueller
12 News
Kayla Mueller

WASHINGTON (KPNX) - President Donald Trump recognized Kayla Mueller and addressed her parents during his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night. 

Trump spoke of Mueller after acknowledging the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State group leader who died last year. 

Mueller, a humanitarian aid worker from Prescott, was captured by the Islamic State group before she was killed in 2015. She was 26 years old. 

During his speech, Trump said Mueller was "murdered" by al-Baghdadi after spending more than 500 days in captivity and being "kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself."

"On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended al-Baghdadi's miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room," Trump said.  

"He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the operation, had given their mission a name -- "Task Force 8-14." It was a reference to a special day: August 14th -- Kayla's birthday.  Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot Kayla -- and neither will we."

Al-Baghdadi died last October after running into a dead-end tunnel and igniting an explosive vest, killing himself and three of his young children, Trump said at the time. 

And Mueller wasn't the only Arizonan recognized by Trump during his State of the Union: Trump also acknowledged Ian Lawn-Fey, an eighth-grade student who said he wants to join the Space Force one day.  

Below are the full remarks that Trump made about Mueller: 

"Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS -- the bloodthirsty killer Al Baghdadi -- is dead!

 "We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller.  After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker.  Kayla once wrote, "Some people find God in church.  Some people find God in nature.  Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering.  I've known for some time what my life's work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering."  In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself.  After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi murdered young Kayla.  She was just 26 years old.

 "On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al Baghdadi's miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room.  He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the operation, had given their mission a name -- "Task Force 8-14."  It was a reference to a special day:  August 14th -- Kayla's birthday.  Carl and Marsha, America's warriors never forgot Kayla -- and neither will we."

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