File photo of al-Baghdadi
WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump made a ‘major statement’ today at the White House announcing the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria, it has been confirmed.
“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” President Trump said in his address today from White House.
“He died like a dog…like a coward,” Trump said.
President Trump said al-Baghdadi was under surveillance for a couple of weeks adding that 2-3 planned missions were scrapped before the successful one mission was launched.
According to him, the US flew over some Russian airspace during the mission.
President Trump informed that he watched the operation from the Situation Room adding, “It was a “very dangerous mission,” regarding flying in and flying out.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, considered a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States (US), was the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS was designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), and many other states.
The US State Department had since 2016 offered a reward of up to $25 million for intelligence or information leading to his capture or death.
It was in June 2014, Baghdadi was chosen as the caliph by the majlis al-shura (consultative council or Shura Council), representing the Islamic State.
Prior to this, he was announced as the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) on 16 May 2010 following the death of his predecessor Aby Omar al-Baghdadi.
He ISIS for the last five years, presiding over its ascendancy as it cultivated a reputation for beheadings and attracted hundreds of thousands of followers to a sprawling and self-styled caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
He remained among the few IS commanders still at large despite multiple claims in recent years about his death and even as his so-called caliphate dramatically shrank, with many supporters who joined the cause either imprisoned or jailed.
The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program had held Baghdadi responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in the Middle East.
He was also held responsible for several brutal murders of numerous civilian hostages from the United Kingdom, Japan, and the United States.
This leader of the terrorist network was involved in enslaving and kidnapping.
According to the Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR), the official name for the coalition fighting ISIS, around 7.7 million people were estimated to be under ISIS rule. Several of these people paid taxes, fees, and even fines to ISIS making up a large portion of ISIS’ income.
Meanwhile, a UN-monitoring committee has estimated that ISIS membership in Iraq and Syria was between 20,000 and 30,000.
An estimated 41,490 international citizens went to Syria and Iraq to join the group.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was responsible for masterminding several large-scale operations, including the August 2011 suicide bombing at the Umm al-Qura Mosque in Baghdad that killed prominent Sunni lawmaker Khalid al-Fahdawi.
Several attacks were made during his leadership.
There have been conflicting claims about his personal life, including his marriage. While some media reports have said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has three wives — two Iraqis and one Syrian, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has said al-Baghdadi has two wives, Asma Fawzi Mohammed al-Dulaimi and Israa Rajab Mahal A-Qaisi.
He was born as Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarrai near Samarra of Iraq in 1971.
His first recorded public appearance of 4 July 2014 made during the first Friday prayer service of Ramadan showed this terrorist leader speaking on a pulpit to a congregation in Mosul, northern Iraq.
He had, in the video, declared himself caliph of the Islamic State calling on Muslims worldwide to support him.