Oct 27, 2019

Trump on Baghdadi raid: "Bin Laden was big but this was bigger"

President Trump said in a press conference Sunday that the operation that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, was "bigger" than the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, before falsely suggesting he had predicted bin Laden's attack on the World Trade Center.

"I'm writing a book. World Trade Center had not come down. ... And I'm saying to people take out Osama bin Laden, that nobody ever heard of. I mean, al-Baghdadi everybody hears of because he's built this monster for a long time. But nobody ever heard of Osama bin Laden until really the World Trade Center. But about a year before the World Trade Center came down, the book came out. I was talking about Osama bin Laden. I said, 'You have to kill him. You have to take him out.' Nobody listened to me."

Why it matters: Bin Laden orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed 2,977 people in total, making it the most devastating attack on American soil in modern history.

Reality check: Trump's 2000 book, "The America We Deserve," did not predict the attacks. It only mentions bin Laden as an al-Qaeda leader and one of many threats to U.S. security, according to AP.

Go deeper: Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

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Harris likens Trump's Baghdadi announcement to video game commentary

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris during an interview with "Late Night" host Seth Meyers Monday. Photo: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris denounced President Trump on NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers" for his "extraordinary" remarks at a news conference announcing the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

You would’ve [thought] that he was talking about watching and giving commentary on a video game."
Go deeperArrowOct 29, 2019

Report: ISIS leader Baghdadi believed killed in U.S.-led Syria raid

An image grab taken from a video released in July 2014 of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi preaching at a mosque in Mosul. Photo: Al-Furqan Media/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State, or ISIS, was targeted in a raid led by U.S. military special operations and is believed to have been killed in the attack in northwest Syria, Newsweek first reported Saturday night.

Details: A military source told Fox News that a "high value ISIS target" believed to be Baghdadi was "killed by U.S.-led forces in Idlib, Syria." A U.S. official told AP the terrorist group leader was "killed in an explosion" in the province. American military sources told news outlets including CNN, ABC News, Defense One and Al Jazeera that a person believed to be Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Oct 27, 2019

ISIS confirms death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and announces new leader

An image-grab taken from an ISIS propaganda video of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

ISIS confirmed the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday, naming his successor Abu Ibrahim Hashimi al-Quraishi in a message posted by the Islamic State's propaganda arm, NBC News reports.

The big picture: The group also acknowledged that its former spokesman, Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir, was killed in a separate strike, per the New York Times. This is the first time ISIS has recognized al-Baghdadi's death following the American-led raid into northern Syria last weekend. NBC reported Thursday that al-Baghdidi had been betrayed by a member of his inner circle who guided U.S. troops to his compound. U.S. officials warned they expect extremist groups to try and retaliate.

Go deeper: Baghdadi raid depended on international ties Trump has spurned

Keep ReadingArrowOct 31, 2019