News and Commentary

Washington Post Changes Headline About Terrorist Leader’s Death, Calling Him An ‘Austere Religious Scholar’
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House October 27, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

On Saturday night, the world’s top terrorist killed himself before the United States could take him into custody.

On Sunday morning, The Washington Post seemingly struggled to come up with a headline for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s obituary.

The original headline for the Post’s article about the terrorist leader’s death read, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State’s ‘terrorist-in-chief,’ dies at 48.”

To start, the headline makes is seem like he simply died of an illness rather than in response to a raid conducted by the U.S. military, but at least it calls him a terrorist and notes the gravity of his death. But apparently that headline was too harsh, because the Post changed the headline to, “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State, dies at 48,” according to a screenshot from journalist Yashar Ali.

Just imagine the Post claiming Osama bin Laden was an “austere religious scholar.” You can’t, because that’s not how the Post described him after the raid that killed him during the Obama Administration. The headline for that obituary read: “Osama bin Laden killed: Leader of terrorist group al-Qaeda was 54.”

Yet when the leader of a terrorist organization dies under President Donald Trump, the word “terrorist” gets removed.

The Post’s headline on the al-Baghdadi obituary appears to have been changed yet again since Ali posted screenshots, as it now reads: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”

The Post’s tweet of the article and its appearance on “related links” on its website still use the original headline for now.

The article itself isn’t much better. It describes al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar with wire-frame classes” and says he “maintained a canny pragmatism.”

“Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque,” the Post wrote, as highlighted by Republican National Committee spokeswoman Elizabeth Harrington.

Consultant Elliott Schwartz also noted that the Post “waits until the 34th [paragraph] to inform readers he was a serial rapist of hostage sex slaves.”

Saturday night, Trump sent a cryptic tweet saying simply: “Something very big has just happened!” On Sunday morning, the president announced al-Baghdadi’s death during an address to the nation.

“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader, to justice: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said, as previously reported by The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti. “Last night was a great night for the U.S. and the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm an innocent man, woman or child.”

Trump also described al-Baghdadi as dying like a “dog” and “a coward.”

“He died like a coward … The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,” Trump said.

CNN reported that al-Baghdadi’s terrorist network was responsible for more than 140 terrorist attacks in nearly 30 countries, resulting in the deaths of at least 2,043 people.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Washington Post Changes Headline About Terrorist Leader’s Death, Calling Him An ‘Austere Religious Scholar’