Opinion DC Comment 29 Oct 2019 Baghdadi had to go

Baghdadi had to go

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Oct 29, 2019, 1:07 am IST
Updated Oct 29, 2019, 1:17 am IST
The “free world” will rejoice as it continues to pay the price of eternal vigilance.
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Photo: AFP)
 Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Photo: AFP)

One of the world’s most wanted terrorists has been killed. Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died “like a dog”, US President Donald Trump said after watching the entire operation in the White House situation room. This was another covert ops strike, beloved of Hollywood, as Chinook helicopters flew low in Idlib, Syria, and strafed a building. The ominous bearded figure of al-Baghdadi wore his favourite suicide vest and in his most villainous style dragged three children along with him before he realised he was boxed in. Trapped, he triggered the vest and died a horrible death, but no one would sympathise as he was a world class ogre, much reviled for acts of terror across the world.

There’s reason to believe the US got the “Scarlet Pimpernel” like a furtive, fugitive figure this time, after several disappointments in exaggerated reports of his death. They took his DNA to match his body, that was blown to bits. This is a signal moment in the fight against terror. The “free world” will rejoice as it continues to pay the price of eternal vigilance. The proactive action by the well-equipped US forces, that had carried out several such strikes earlier, like the revenge killing of Osama bin Laden, must be lauded.

 

Al-Baghdadi was the most dreaded terrorist even in an era filled with them as he commanded a territory he called the Islamic State (ISIS), a lawless 34,000 sq. m. where only his writ ran. Among his acolytes were also Western-educated youth who thought blowing up people was a jolly good thing. But terror is a hydra-headed monster. Others will emerge as leaders, even in ISIS, that was pulverised in battle two years ago. But Baghdadi had to go as he defied every tenet of civilisation, and despite Mr Trump’s boasting.

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