By Osaro Grayson
President Trump announced in a televised address on Oct. 27 that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), had been killed in a nighttime raid conducted by U.S. forces on Oct. 26, declaring that the “world’s number one terrorist leader” had been brought to justice.
Trump described a dangerous and daring mission in which U.S. forces blew a hole in the wall, fearing that the main entrance had been booby-trapped.
“They did a lot of shooting, and they did a lot of blasting, even not going through the front door,” Trump continues. “If you’re a normal person, you say, ‘knock knock may I come in?’”
According to Trump, Baghdadi, along with three children, ran into a dead-end tunnel on the compound and with military dogs in pursuit, detonated his suicide vest, collapsing the tunnel and killing himself along with the three children.
“He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place,” Trump proclaimed.
President Trump admitted that he failed to notify Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) of the raid beforehand, as is the custom for such high-level operations. Trump claims that he broke from procedure because of a fear that lawmakers would leak information to the press that could result in the loss of American lives.
“We were going to notify them last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before.”
Speaker Pelosi, in a statement, said that “Russians but not top Congressional leaders were notified of the raid in advance,” and Leader Schumer claimed that he learned of the raid after seeing it on television.
Trump made several controversial statements during his address, including his assertion that he had predicted before the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 that Osama bin Laden had to be captured or killed. “If they would have listened to me, a lot of things would have been different,” said Trump.
Experts fear that Trump’s decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria is “dismantling the infrastructure that made the raid possible” and will allow ISIS the opportunity to rebuild.
The Islamic State confirmed the death of Baghdadi and named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as his successor on Oct. 31. While the death of Baghdadi may be a significant gain in the United States’ fight against ISIS, head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie Jr., maintains that they are “under no illusions that [ISIS is] going to go away just because we killed Baghdadi.”