Donald Trump said on Tuesday that U.S. troops killed the “number one replacement” for Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid over the weekend, and now, according to the New York Post, a second unnamed Islamic state leader has also been “terminated by American troops.”
“Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops. Most likely would have taken the top spot – Now he is also Dead!” Trump wrote.
Trump didn’t clarify who he was speaking about, though there are two men who appeared to be in line to replace the slain leader. One of those men, Abdullah Qardash, was expected to become the new most-wanted terrorist. A second prominent Islamic state member, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, was also considered to be a replacement for al-Baghdadi.
Qardash, known as “The Destroyer,” has reportedly been running things in al-Baghdadi’s absence. Muhajir was reportedly killed in a joint operation with Kurdish Syrian Democratic forces on Saturday.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Trump announced on Sunday that al-Baghdadi blew himself up after being cornered by U.S. troops.
“He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America,” Trump said.
BREAKING: President Trump says U.S. has killed terrorist leaders during his administration "but not the big names."— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) October 27, 2019
"I kept saying, 'Where's al-Baghdadi? I want al-Baghdadi.' ... I've been looking for him for three years." pic.twitter.com/PVhCEW7mTT
al-Baghdadi, who is thought to have been born Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali Muhammad al-Badri al-Samarra, became the leader of the Islamic State in 2010 after the death of Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, expanding the group’s reach. Trump says that the man was chased into a tunnel by a dog and U.S. troops, where he detonated a suicide vest that killed both himself and three of his 14 or so children.
During the press conference revealing the death, Trump revealed sensitive information that concerned some experts. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the president spoke about details like the number of helicopters used and when they launched, along with technical aspects of the mission. Samatha Vinograd, an Obama-era national security expert, said that the amount of information he shared was surprising.
“This is obviously a major accomplishment, but from a counterrorism perspective, the president’s engagement with the media on this is pretty surprising to me,” she said. “It’s really unprecedented when you think about how much detail he actually went into.”
With al-Baghdadi’s death, the president claimed that the Islamic State “Caliphiate” was eradicated, and his message on Tuesday indicates that the group was making moves to continue its agenda.