- The Washington Times - Friday, February 6, 2015

Islamic State militants claimed that a female American hostage was killed Friday during a Jordanian airstrike in northern Syria as part of the country’s retaliation for the killing of a captured pilot held hostage by the group.

A message published by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist activity, said the American woman, 26-year-old Kayla Mueller, an aid worker from Prescott, Arizona, was killed when the building where she was being held in Raqqa collapsed in the airstrike.

“The failed Jordanian aircraft killed an American female hostage,” the message said. “No mujahid was injured in the bombardment, and all praise is due to Allah.”

Family members told CNN that Ms. Mueller was taken captive in Aleppo after leaving a Doctors without Borders hospital.

The terrorist group had reportedly demanded more than $6 million for her release, The Daily Beast reported.

Jordanian and U.S. officials are skeptical of the militants’ claim, however. Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali told CNN that the claim was just “another PR stunt by ISIS.”

“They tried to cause problems internally in Jordan and haven’t succeeded,” Mr. Majali said. “They are now trying to drive a wedge between the coalition with this latest low PR stunt.”

White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz said Friday afternoon that the administration could not confirm the death of the woman. He said style administration is “deeply concerned” about the reports, but added that U.S. officials have “not seen any indication to corroborate those claims.”

Other U.S. officials also said they have not yet been able to confirm the report, saying the terrorist group has not offered any proof that the woman was indeed killed.

“We are obviously deeply concerned by these reports. We have not at this time seen any evidence that corroborates ISIL’s claim,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told Business Insider.

Ms. Mueller graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009 and has since dedicated her life to humanitarian work, focusing on aiding refugees in Syria, CNN reported. She has also worked with humanitarian groups in Africa, Northern India, Israel and Palestine.

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.

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