THE Washington Post has apologised after its obituary described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State”.
The newspaper come in for criticism for highlighting Baghdadi’s apparent academic pursuits rather than his leadership of a bloodthirsty jihadi organisation.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed when US special forces raided his compound in Syria[/caption]
“The man who would become the founding leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,” said the obituary.
The article’s original headline for the described Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-Chief” before it was changed to the offending one.
The headline prompted mockery, including one tweet which read: “Adolf Hitler, simple Austrian painter at helm of Nazi Party, dies at 56.”
A Washington Post spokesperson Kristine Coratti Kelly later tweeted that the headline “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly”.
Announcing the jihadi’s demise, Donald Trump said al-Baghdadi “died like a dog” when he blew himself up in a tunnel as he fled US special forces.
The President said the ISIS chief – who became the world’s most wanted man – died “crying, whimpering and screaming and bringing three kids with him”.
“A brutal killer, one who caused so much hardship and death, has been violently eliminated…he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child,” said Trump.
Al-Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria.
The murderous group carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Al-Baghdadi – who had led the murderous cult since 2010 when it was still an underground al-Qaida offshoot in Iraq – had been the subject of an international manhunt for years and had a $25m bounty on his head.