ISIS terrorist organization leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was pronounced dead by President Donald J. Trump after a successful Special Operations mission executed on Saturday evening.
President Trump addressed the nation the following morning.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” said President Trump in his address. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
al-Baghdadi has been hunted by U.S. officials since before President Trump’s term.
Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig and Kayla Mueller were among the victims killed by ISIS under the reign of al-Baghdadi. ISIS was responsible for attacks such as the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting killing 49, as well as a 2017 attack in New York which killed eight and injured 48.
Recruiting worldwide and gaining territory is no small feat.
“You need a leader and organization and structure to do that,” National Public Radio national security correspondent Greg Myre said in an NPR interview.
ABC News said that eight Apache helicopters descended on al-Baghdadi’s compound and troops breached the walls of the compound. al-Baghdadi ran into a tunnel to escape, taking three young children with him.
Military dogs and Special Operations Forces chased him to the end of the tunnel where al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide belt, killing himself and the three children.
No U.S. troops were harmed in the operation, however one dog sustained injuries due to the blast.
“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world,” President Trump said. “A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated — he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”