ISIS leader al-Baghdadi killed in U.S. Special Forces raid

Trump: We “brought the world's number 1 terrorist leader to justice”

SKY News
October 27, 2019 - 9:52 am
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.

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WASHINGTON (ABC News) – President Donald Trump announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

"A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated," Trump said in an address to the nation from the White House. "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."

Trump said he was able to watch most of the operation as it happened.

"Al-Baghdadi was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way. As a coward running and crying," Trump said. "This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment 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."

The president said test results gave a positive identification.

Rumors had swirled since at least 2014 that al-Baghdadi had been wounded, or possibly even killed, but he'd often quash those himself by releasing audio recordings.

U.S. special forces nearly killed him in August 2017, destroying a compound south of Ragga in which he was believed to have been during a massive bombardment. The following month, he released an audio recording to prove he'd survived.

The ISIS leader was last seen alive in a video in April.

There had been a $25 million U.S. bounty on the head of al-Baghdadi, who, in his only previous video, recorded in a Mosul mosque in 2014, called himself "Caliph," or leader of all Muslims.

The president said American forces were in the compound for about two hours after the mission and collected sensitive information.

"Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world," Trump said.

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