The Washington Post apparently changed the headline of their obituary of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from “terrorist-in-chief” to describe him as an “austere religious scholar.”
U.S. forces killed Baghdadi Saturday after a successful raid on a compound in northern Syria.
While many celebrated the death of the serial rapist and murderer, the Washington Post left many confused by giving him the title of “austere religious scholar at the helm of the Islamic State.”
Pelosi Statement on Al-Baghdadi Raid
OCTOBER 27, 2019 PRESS RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. military raid:
“Americans salute the heroism, dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals and acknowledge the work of our partners in the region. We are relieved that no U.S. personnel died in this daring raid.
“The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS. Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror.
“This month, the House passed a joint resolution on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 354-60 basis which rejects President Trump’s green-lighting of Turkish aggression into Syria against our Kurdish partners, and calls on him to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS. The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region. Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”
The Post acknowledged Baghdadi led ISIS with “shocking brutality” but focused much of their obituary on his academic career.
“The man who would become the founding leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,” the Post wrote.
The original headline for the Post’s article about the terrorist leader’s death read, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48.”
To start, the headline makes is seem like he simply died of an illness rather than in response to a raid conducted by the U.S. military, but at least it calls him a terrorist and notes the gravity of his death.
But apparently that headline was too harsh, because the Post changed the headline to, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48,” according to a screenshot from journalist Yashar Ali.
Just imagine the Post claiming Osama bin Laden was an “austere religious scholar.” You can’t, because that’s not how the Post described him after the raid that killed him during the Obama Administration.
The headline for that obituary read: “Osama bin Laden killed: Leader of terrorist group al-Qaeda was 54.”
Yet when the leader of a terrorist organization dies under President Donald Trump, the word “terrorist” gets removed.
The article itself isn’t much better. It describes al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar with wire-frame classes” and says he “maintained a canny pragmatism.”
“Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque,” the Post wrote, as highlighted by Republican National Committee spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington.
Diane Foley, the mother of the late James Foley, an American journalist who was abducted in 2012 by ISIS and later brutally murdered by the group, welcomed the news of Baghdadi’s death, saying Sunday that she’s “grateful” to Trump and the US military.
“I hope this will hinder the resurgence of terror groups and pray that captured ISIS fighters will be brought to trial and held accountable,” Foley, who serves as the president and founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, said in a statement.
Esper added that “we’re going to watch carefully next steps. And as a new leader and leaders pop up we’ll go after them as well.”
Esper described the death of the ISIS leader as a “devastating blow” to ISIS.
“This is not just their leader, it’s their founder. He was an inspirational leader in many ways,” Esper told Tapper.
Esper also ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday that “less than 100” troops were on the ground for the raid on Baghdadi though, “these are always much bigger operations, the tail of which stretches back deep into the intelligence community.”
What was Pelosi et al, doing in the Middle East last week??????!
Key Democrats not informed of raid
The President said he informed a few members of Congress of the raid ahead of his announcement, including Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Trump said he did not inform key Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Trump said a leak of the raid could have cost American lives.