Kayla Mueller's Parents Say U.S. Ransom Policy Came First

“Any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” her father says.

Islamic State American Hostage

In this May 30, 2013, photo, Kayla Mueller is shown after speaking to a group in Prescott, Ariz.

AP Photo/The Daily Courier, Matt Hinshaw

The parents of Kayla Mueller, a slain American hostage of the Islamic State, say they understood U.S. policy about not paying ransom but that the government put it before their daughter's life.

“We understand the policy about not paying ransom, but on the other hand, any parents out there would understand that you would want anything and everything done to bring your child home,” said Mueller's father, Carl, in excerpts of an NBC News interview set to air Monday. “And we tried, and we asked. But they put policy in front of American citizens’ lives. And it didn’t get it changed.”

“So that’s something they’re going to work on, I’m sure, that’s in the works,” he added.

Mueller’s mother, Marsha, said the U.S. and others underestimated how “powerful” the Islamic State was.

“I don't think anyone had any idea this group would be as powerful as they were,” she said.

The White House confirmed the 26-year-old aid worker's death on Feb. 10.

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