ISIS claims that 26-year-old Kayla Mueller from Arizona was killed in an airstrike in Syria, according to NBC News partners Flashpoint Intelligence.
Kayla Mueller, originally from Arizona, was taken hostage by ISIS in Syria on Aug. 4, 2013, while leaving a Spanish Doctors Without Borders hospital. Her family previously had requested Mueller’s name not be made public for fear it would endanger her life.
Defense officials told NBC News that U.S. military and military intelligence have no information to confirm ISIS’ claim, and the State Department said it could not confirm reports of the death “in any way.”
“We are obviously deeply concerned by these reports. We have not at this time seen any evidence that corroborates ISIL’s claim,” said Bernadette Meehan, spokeswoman for the National Security Council said.
In a report distributed on Twitter, ISIS stated that Mueller was buried in the rubble of a building hit by Jordanian aircraft. Jordanian warplanes have pounded ISIS targets in Syria since the militants released a video that appeared to show a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive in a cage. It was impossible to confirm if any of the airstrikes had hit the building pictured in the ISIS report, and Jordan disputed the ISIS claim.
One senior defense official told NBC News “the entire intel community” in the U.S. government “lit up immediately at the ISIS claim and is attempting to gather the facts.” The official also said that if, in fact, the American woman has been killed it could be impossible to verify if was the result of an airstrike.
“ISIS is being illogical and they’re lying,” Mohammad Al Moumani, a spokesman for the information ministry, told NBC News. “How do they know it’s a Jordanian aircraft? What was a woman doing in their training center or weapons storage facility? Because those are what we’re targeting.”