Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: Scholar or terrorist? Ask the Washington Post

President Trump watches the operation to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the White House Situation Room. From left is National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Brigadier General Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations.
President Trump watches the operation to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the White House Situation Room. From left is National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and Brigadier General Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations.


“From the moment in July 2014 when he ascended the minbar (pulpit) in a mosque in Mosul, clad in black robes, to claim the title of caliph of the Muslim world, until his death on Sunday during a raid by US forces, Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badri, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the most wanted and feared man on the planet,” wrote The Guardian.

But reporting on the same death, The Washington Post was conflicted. Was the man who blew himself and three of his children up on Saturday all that bad?

In its first attempt at an obituary, The Washington Post called the terrorist an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.”

Under pressure, the editors went through a costume change and eventually settled on a more apt headline description “Islamic State leader leaves legacy of terror.” Check out this gallery of edits on that headline:

The ISIS merchant of death evidently blew himself up as U.S. forces closed in on him in a tunnel. He was the most notorious and savage terrorist in the Middle East.

“In less time than it had taken any terrorist leader before him, he and his organisation, Islamic State (ISIS), had successfully provoked upheaval across the Middle East and stirred trepidation around the globe. To many, Baghdadi was the sum of all fears, a man who had been transported straight from the savage early wars of Islamic history to the modern battlefields of the region nearly 1,500 years later,” – The Guardian

“As he delivered his sermon that day, Baghdadi deliberately invoked past caliphates, in particular the Abbasid era (AD750-1517), which is often referred to as the Islamic Golden Age. Baghdadi believed that he could trace his lineage back to the prophet Muhammad, and that his postgraduate Islamic studies had earned him a place among Islam’s historical figures.”

But according to The Washington Post, he was merely a ruthless military leader:

“When Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi took the reins of the Islamic State of Iraq in 2010, few had heard of the organization or its new leader, an austere religious scholar with wire-frame glasses and no known aptitude for fighting and killing.” – The Washington Post

“But just four years later, Mr. Baghdadi had helped transform his failing movement into one of the most notorious and successful terrorist groups of modern times. Under his guidance it would burst into the public consciousness as the Islamic State, an organization that would seize control of entire cities in Iraq and Syria and become a byword for shocking brutality,” The Washington Post wrote.

President Donald Trump wrote more bluntly: “Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way — as a coward, running and crying.”

US intelligence services had been tracking Baghdadi, and a couple of raids on his location were called of a the last minute because Baghdadi would change his plans “on a dime.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed outrage that the president had not notified House Democrats in advance of the raid.

“The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance,” Pelosi said to reporters.

“We notified some, others are being notified now as I speak,” Trump said in his own press briefing. “We were going to notify them last night but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There has no country in the world that leaks like we do. Washington is a leaking machine.”


Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.  He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization in the World.  The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years.  Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my Administration.  U.S. Special Operations forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid into Northwestern Syria to accomplish this mission.

No U.S. personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him.  He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming.  The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed.  Eleven young children were moved out of the house un-injured.  The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death.  He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.  His body was mutilated by the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification.

The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread – terrified of the American Forces bearing down.
We were in the compound for approximately 2 hours, and after the mission was accomplished we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid.

Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders, and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS!
The reach of America is long.  As you know, last month we announced that we recently killed Hamza Bin Laden, the very violent son of Osama Bin Laden, who was saying very bad things.

He was the heir apparent to Al Qaeda. Terrorists who oppress and murder innocent people should never sleep soundly, knowing that we will completely destroy them. These savage monsters will not escape their fate – and they will not escape the final judgement of God.

Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office. At my direction, as Commander-in-Chief, the United States obliterated his ‘caliphate’ in March of this year.  Today’s events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists to their brutal end.

Baghdadi and the losers who worked with him – in some cases people who had no idea what they were getting into and how dangerous and unglamorous it was – killed many people.  Their murder of innocent Americans Jim Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, and Kayla Mueller were especially heinous.  The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot who was burned alive in a cage for all to see, and the execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of Yazidis, rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations in history.

The forced religious conversions, the orange suits prior to many beheadings, all of which were openly displayed for the world – this was all Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s work.  He was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying.  This raid was impeccable, and could only have taken place with the acknowledgement and help of certain other nations and people.

I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us. Thank you as well to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible.

I want to thank the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines involved in last night’s operation.  You are the very best there is anywhere in the world.  I want to thank General Mark Milley and our Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I also want to thank our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government and were critical to the mission’s success.

Last night was a great night for the United States and for the World. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, was violently eliminated – he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child.  He died like a dog.  He died like a coward.  The world is now a much safer place.

God bless the United States of America!


  1. The WaPo and NYT are like Pravda and Isvestia; in The Truth there is no news and in The News there is no truth. And have you noticed how much of their drivel the ADN picks up?

    • We’re in agreement re: WAPO and NYT, official mouthpieces for the power structure.

      You’re observant, Art Chance. It happens that ADN.com is run on WAPO’s digital content platform, Arc Publishing.

  2. Cowardly to the end. Hides behind children when confronted head-on. Will push the button of his own destruction, rather than fight his enemy to the end. Sounds like a Democrat.

  3. The President did it right ….Speaker Pelosi, for the safety of everyone on the mission certainly did not need to be told before hand about anything,..and recently here in her own words, “our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington” and that is exactly what this mission got and what we continue to get every day from President Trump….

  4. YES……President Donald Trump made the right decision for the safety of our troops, and the mission. Pelosi is A traitor and would have leaked it!

  5. Straight from Sun Tzu. A public and surprise withdrawal scrambled everything. A few weeks later, its head on a pole time for the most wanted person in the world.

    Metaphorically, same thing is happening to Creepy Joe. Trump’s assessment was that Biden would win, so he is personally taking him out. The Democrats have no candidates who have ever accomplished anything in their adult lives. Impeachment is their only option for stopping Trump. He is a monster.

  6. No, he is not. You sore losers never let him govern the country. You know, the election and all that? Joe has been dirty for a long time. He repeats that my boy died story for sympathy. People fall for it. Lets see……the President is shoring up our leaky border fighting illegal immigration and drugs, killed OBL’s son, killed ISIS, bettered our relationship with N. Korea, cut off the treasonous payout to Iran from Obama, Got our respect back worldwide after Obama bent over and grabbed his ankles, unemployment at an all time low, minimum wage is up, and that is all with you people sticking a gun to his back. Monster my a–!!!

  7. Nancy Pelosi is outraged that she wasn’t notified before the raid took place?! Since when do we inform our enemies about military operations? Don’t feel too bad, Nancy…Baghdadi wasn’t informed either.

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