The Washington Post on Sunday changed the headline of its obituary for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS terror leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria over the weekend, after receiving widespread backlash for referring to him as an “austere religious scholar.”
The original headline, posted online after President Trump announced al-Baghdadi’s killing, read: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48.” It was later changed to “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48.”
It now reads: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”
“Post correspondents have spent years in Iraq and Syria documenting ISIS savagery, often at great personal risk,” Kristine Coratti Kelly, a spokeswoman for the Post, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a headline written in haste to portray the origins of al-Baghdadi and ISIS didn’t communicate that brutality. The headline was promptly changed.”
But not before critics, including the president’s children, pounced.
Enemy of the people??? With headlines like this and the fact that the @washingtonpost and others in the MSM have harsher criticism for The President of The United States than they do for the leader of ISIS, a known serial rapist and murderer, you really have to start to wonder!!! pic.twitter.com/JH448bCA7Y— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 27, 2019
Unreal.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 27, 2019
al-Baghdadi described as “Austere religious scholar” instead of “terrorist” in Washpo Obituary headline. pic.twitter.com/3fTxBMInLo
Every day The Washington Post uses harsher words against @realDonaldTrump than they do in writing about one of the world’s most evil terrorists. Yet we’re supposed to take them at face value. Let that sink in. pic.twitter.com/iIWVqI4N8B— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 27, 2019
President Trump announced the killing of al-Baghdadi in a televised address on Sunday morning.
“Last night the United States brought the world’s No. 1 terrorist leader to justice,” Trump said. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
According to Trump, al-Baghdadi and a “large number” of his fighters were killed on Saturday night in Idlib province, Syria, after a raid by U.S. Special Operations forces.
Trump offered a dramatic narration of the raid, which he said he was able to watch and took “approximately two hours.” He gave a graphic account of the terrorist being chased down a tunnel by American troops “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.”
“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down,” Trump said of al-Baghdadi. “He ignited the vest, killing himself and three of his children.”
The president mocked al-Baghdadi’s ISIS fighters as “losers” and said al-Baghdadi died in a state of “utter fear, total panic and dread.” He didn’t indicate how he knew what al-Baghdadi was thinking.
“He died like a dog,” Trump said. “He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America.”
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