Kayla Mueller, a 26-year old from Arizona, was working as a humanitarian aid worker when she was kidnapped by ISIS in 2013. For 18 months, Kayla was tortured and abused by ISIS. Reportedly forced to marry their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, she was one of four Americans murdered by ISISand one of thousands of innocent civilians slaughtered by al-Baghdadi and his band of depraved criminals.
For years following Kayla’s murder, al-Baghdadi’s criminal syndicate known as ISIS flourished in Syria and northern Iraqenforcing their sick, twisted Sharia law and torturing and murdering as they saw fit. President Obama failed to defeat what he referred to as the “JV team” of terrorist organizations. Unlike President Obama, President Trump took the threat posed by ISISand radical Islamic terrorism as a wholeseriously from day one.
President Trump’s renewed focus on fighting radical Islamic terrorism is paying off. Vast swaths of Syria and northern Iraq once controlled by ISIS were recapturedand ISIS’s territory has been reduced to just one percent of what it once controlled. This has greatly reduced ISIS’s ability to squeeze funding from the civilians it brutalized and its illegal oil sales, and, in turn, reduced their ability to carry out horrific acts of terrorism in Syria and around the globe.
This week, Kayla’s family and loved ones finally got some sliver of closure. U.S. Special Forces tracked down al-Baghdadi and cornered him with dogs in the tunnels under his compound. Terrified of being held accountable for his crimes, al-Baghdadi triggered a suicide vest, killing himself and two of his children. He died a coward, desperately trying to escape justice. However, we can all rest easier knowing there’s one less radical Islamic terrorist madman roaming the earthand that he’ll face a justice far more powerful in death.
This fight isn’t over. This victory is not the end of radical Islamic terrorism, or even ISIS alone. Radical Islamic terrorism remains a threat to freedom and peace around the world. I pray we never lose sight of thatand that together, we will prevail in eradicating this scourge from the face of the earthjust like we did with al-Baghdadi this week.