The mother of the first American hostage beheaded by Islamic State said the Obama administration is letting down all Americans captured by the terrorist group.
Unconfirmed reports of hostage Kayla Mueller’s death is proof, Diane Foley told ABC News, saying the administration is doing “too little, too late.”
“Kayla, along with our son and others, were held for nearly two years, and there were many opportunities along the way,” the mother of beheaded hostage James Foley told ABC News. “Several times when the captors reached out, several times when returning hostages brought sensitive information. And yet nothing was done to save our young Americans. So that’s the part that deeply concerns me.”
Mueller, 26, a humanitarian aid worker captured in August 2013, was unknown to the general public until Islamic State militants claimed Friday she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike.
Her parents are skeptical that she is dead.
For much of 2013 and 2014, Diane Foley and hostage negotiators working for her family knew the likely locations of the western captives held by ISIS in Syria, even as they were moved from time to time. But the U.S. didn’t launch a mission until July 3, when a squadron of operators from the elite Delta Force hit an oil refinery site near Raqqa, discovering it was a “dry hole.”
Kayla Mueller had been among those held there, counter-terrorism sources have told ABC News.
“I certainly applaud the young, courageous soldiers who went on that mission,” Foley said. “It was much too late, and the intelligence obviously was poor. It wasn’t good enough for those courageous soldiers, so they went in for nothing.”
At least one counter-terrorism official agreed with Foley’s assessment.
“Washington took too long,” the unnamed official, who had knowledge of the planning and execution of the July 3 raid, told ABC News last week. “We missed the hostages by two days. We could have had all the hostages — all of them.”
Some reports said the Obama administration wanted to wait until July 3 to raid the oil refinery site so he could make an Independence Day announcement that the American hostages had been rescued.
A National Security Council spokesman told ABC News the White House is reviewing the administration’s hostage policy and that a report is due in the spring.
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