Mr Trump, in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, boasted about operations in which the US took out “nastier” terrorists during his time at the Oval Office.
“Isis is tougher than the Taliban, and nastier than the Taliban. And Isis was watching, and then they were, they didn’t exist anymore,” Mr Trump said in the interview.
“And we took out the founder of Isis, al-Baghdadi, and then of course Soleimani. Now just so you understand, Soleimani is bigger by many, many times than Osama bin Laden. The founder of Isis is bigger by many, many times, al-Baghdadi than Osama bin Laden,” he added.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi militant who rose to become the leader of Islamic State, died in a raid by US special forces in northwest Syria in 2019. In January 2020 a US drone strike in Iraq killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani who led the elite Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards.
Bin Laden created terror group Al Qaeda which was responsible for the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre that killed at least 2,996 people in the US.
He was accused of extending his support to plan the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed over 200 people and was also said to be responsible for a suicide attack on the USS Cole in October 2000, which killed 17 American sailors and injured many more.
Bin Laden was killed by the US in 2011 when Barack Obama was president.
“Osama bin Laden had one hit, and it was a bad one, in New York City, the World Trade Centre. But these other two guys were monsters. They were monsters. And I kept saying for years why aren't they getting them? For years, I said it. I got them,” he said.
Trump says the terrorists killed on his watch were “bigger” than bin Laden, who masterminded the attacks that killed thousands on 9/11 but who was also behind the USS Cole attack and embassy bombings. https://t.co/80aSz6E1ot
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 26, 2021
The former president gave the interview after at least 95 civilians, including 13 American soldiers, were killed in three consecutive blasts outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Thursday.
Isis’s south Asia branch, known as the Isis-K, has claimed responsibility for the attack and said in a statement that they targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army,” reported Reuters.
The US forces are bracing for more attacks as they wind up their evacuation mission, news agency Reuters reported.
In 2020, Mr Trump had come to an agreement with the Taliban, where he agreed to pull out US troops from Afghanistan by May 2021 and release 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
In return, the Taliban would not let Afghanistan become a safe haven for terrorist groups and would release 1,000 of its prisoners, the agreement stated.
Mr Trump, however, told the radio host, that he would have “bombed the hell out of the Taliban” had they violated the agreement and “they never would have come into Kabul”.
“They just wouldn't do it.”