Islamic State leader Baghdadi died ‘in panic and dread’, says Trump

Islamic State leader Baghdadi died ‘in panic and dread’, says Trump

Islamic State leader Baghdadi died ‘in panic and dread’, says Trump

Written by Reuters

27 Oct, 2019 | 9:46 pm

REUTERS: Fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying” in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, in a major blow to the jihadist group.  Baghdadi killed himself during the raid by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel, Trump said in a televised address from the White House. He was positively identified by DNA tests 15 minutes after he died, the president said.

“He was a sick and depraved man and now he’s gone.” Trump said “many” of Baghdadi’s people were killed and added that in blowing himself up, Baghdadi also killed three of his children. U.S. forces suffered no personnel losses, he said. He also thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq for their support.  Turkey said it was proud to have helped “bring a notorious terrorist to justice” and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump on an “impressive achievement”. But Russia’s response was muted, with the defense ministry in Moscow saying merely that it had no reliable information on the U.S. raid.

Baghdadi had long been sought by the United States as head of a jihadist group that at one point controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq, where it declared a caliphate. Islamic State has carried out atrocities against religious minorities and attacks on five continents in the name of an ultra-fanatic version of Islam that horrified mainstream Muslims. In recent years the group had lost most of its territory. But while the destruction of the quasi-state that Baghdadi built has denied the group its recruiting tool and logistical base from which it could train fighters and plan coordinated attacks overseas, most security experts believe Islamic State remains a threat through clandestine operations or attacks.

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic, and dread, terrified of the American forces coming down on him,” Trump said. “He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children. His body was mutilated by the blasts. The tunnel had caved on him,” Trump added. “He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming.”

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