OTR Interviews

New details about slain US aid worker Kayla Mueller's captivity revealed: She may have been lured by ISIS

New details about American aid worker's capture by terror group emerge as grief-stricken family confirms her death. #KaylaMueller

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 10, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Parents of American aide worker, Kayla Mueller, say their daughter lived with purpose. Mueller's aunt telling reporters more about how Mueller lived her very short life.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LORI LYONS, AUNT OF KAYLA MUELLER: Kayla has touched the heart of the world. The world grieves with us. The world mourns with us. The world wants to be like Kayla. And if that is her legacy and the footprint that she leaves on the world, then that is a wonderful thing. In Kayla's letter to Marcia and Karl, she wrote, "I have come to see there is good in every situation. Sometimes we just have to look for it." And right, now that's what we are all trying to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Mueller was kidnapped by ISIS back in August of 2013.

FOX News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge has specific details about Mueller's captivity. She joins us live from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where she was covering another story when the news of Mueller's death broke -- Catherine?

CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS CHIEF INTELLIGENCE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Greta. Our contact has firsthand knowledge of the efforts to free the Western hostages. Much of this information we were asked to hold last November for national security reasons and because of the ongoing efforts to free Kayla Mueller. But given the circumstances tonight, we are able to report some of those details now.

In August of 2013, Kayla Mueller was traveling with a Syrian, who she identified to her colleagues as her boyfriend, when the vehicle they were driving in was forced off the roadway. This was seen by investigators as evidence that Kayla was targeted simply because she was an American citizen. The Syrian was released within days of the kidnapping, leading to suspicion that he may have been bait, if you will, to lure her into a trap, but then he went back to ISIS specifically and tried to secure her release. But as we know tonight, Greta, that was to know avail.

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine, in terms of what happened, I mean, I asked the admiral and he didn't want to disclose or maybe doesn't know about when she died because, you know, there was that whole terrible thing about the Jordanian pilot being dead a month before the video was released. Is there any information about whether or not they were using her as a human shield, whether or not they really killed her, you know, exactly what they did?

HERRIDGE: Well, we have a lot of detail about the movements of these hostages within a month of Kayla's capture. So September of 2013, right into May of 2014, she and the Western hostages were only moved between a handful of locations, Aleppo, an industrial area near the Turkish border, as well as the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, and most significantly, in Raqqa. By May of last year, most of the Western hostages, if not all, were being held in the same location and they were being held there for at least two weeks, which is highly unusual because typically these hostages are moved every day or so to obfuscate their location. It was such at that time that Kayla was able to communicate to at least one of the other male hostages -- because they were held separately based on sex -- that she was not being mistreated by her captors, which is a similar message we had from that letter released by her family today.

But what's most troubling tonight, still, is that this very specific intelligence about the location about this group of Western hostages, I would argue probably the last best chance to rescue them -- there was a significant delay in acting on this information. The rescue mission was not OK'ed until July of last year. The White House would argue otherwise, that they went when they thought the intelligence was ready to go, but our contacts say this was very perishable information that had to be acted on immediately, and that was just not the case here -- Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine, any demands from ISIS in the last six to eight months related to her, or even any time, directly from ISIS?

HERRIDGE: That's a good question. We also had information, confirmed in the fall, which we agreed not to broadcast at that time, about a Twitter account specifically set up to communicate with the parents of American Peter Kassig. He was former military and an aide worker who was also executed. There were a series of demands that were issued to Peter's family, originally a ransom demand of over $3 million U.S. and then a much smaller demand of $150,000. They told the family that the money could be transferred using Bitcoins. To the best of our knowledge, no ransom was paid. But as kind of a proof of their credibility, they said in this Twitter exchange that they should give the best to Karl and Marcia Mueller. This is obviously a tip that they were --

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed.

HERRIDGE: -- in that inner circle that knew about Kayla -- Greta?

VAN SUSTEREN: Catherine, thank you.