(TMU) — President Donald Trump has formally announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed leader of ISIS, is dead from suicide. The infamous terrorist reportedly detonated an explosive vest on Saturday night as U.S. Special Forces raided a compound in the Syrian Province of Idlib.
Along with obliterating the ISIS figurehead, the blast also killed three children, according to the U.S. government.
“Baghdadi was vicious and violent, and he died in a vicious and violent way, as a coward, running and crying,” Trump said. “He died like a dog, he died like a coward.”
Oddly, this is not the first instance in which al-Baghdadi was reportedly killed or severely wounded over the years—and it may not be the last.
Baghdadi was reported at large in Iraq until Iraqi officials told Al-Jazeera they had arrested Baghdadi in December 2012.
Casting further doubt on al-Baghdadi’s existence, the ISIS leader rarely showed his face on camera and in 2014, he made his one known public appearance, according to the Independent.
Then in November 2014, somehow managing to evade his arrest, al-Baghdadi was reported “critically wounded” in an airstrike. Just five months later, he was “seriously wounded” in another air strike in April 2015. There are further reports that Baghdadi was killed in 2016, as well.
In May of 2017, the ISIS leader was also reportedly killed in Syria by Russian airstrikes, according to the Russian Defense Ministry and Syrian state television.
Less than a year later, a senior Iraqi official stated that al-Baghdadi was severely wounded in an air raid in Northwestern Syria in February 2018. The Iraqi official added that the ISIS leader suffers from “injuries, diabetes and fractures to the body and legs that prevent him from walking without assistance.”
More recently, al-Baghdadi was allegedly shown in an 18-minute long video released by an Islamic State media group in April of 2019. Various audio messages that were reportedly from al-Baghdadi have been released through the years, with the last being in 2019. However, the authenticity of those messages were not all verified, according the the BBC.
“Days later, the Pentagon confirmed that Baghdadi was only in U.S. custody for 10 months, from February to December 2004. The Department of Defense told the fact-checking website PunditFact in a statement that Baghdadi was held at Camp Bucca. ‘A Combined Review and Release Board recommended ‘unconditional release’ of this detainee and he was released from U.S. custody shortly thereafter. We have no record of him being held at any other time.’”
Some have even reported that al-Baghdadi was in U.S. custody in 2009, though Politifact cast doubt on this particular claim after the Defense Department was asked to confirm the story and clarified that he was released in 2004, not 2009.
The media and government has obviously created a cycle of kill-capture-injure of a single person all while the general public has never seen more than brief snippets of the apparently immortal boogeyman.
The al-Baghdadi narrative makes Orwell’s 1984 look tame in comparison and, if history is any indicator, this is not the last time we’ve heard from al-Baghdadi.
A timeline of the al-Baghdadi narrative:
- 2004 – Al-Baghdadi was in U.S. custody
- 2012 – Al-Baghdadi is captured in Iraq
- 2014 – Al-Baghdadi made his only alleged public appearance in Mosul in June
- 2014 – Al-Baghdadi is reportedly killed by a U.S. airstrike in September
- 2014 – Al-Baghdadi is ‘critically wounded‘ from air strikes near Mosul in November
- 2015 – Al-Baghdadi is once again ‘seriously wounded‘ from a U.S. air strike near Nineveh
- 2016 – Al-Baghdadi is reportedly killed again by coalition air strikes in Raqqa
- 2017 – Al-Baghdadi is wounded from an airstrike and has to relinquish control of ISIS for five months
- 2017 – Al-Baghdadi is killed yet again by Russian airstrikes in Syria
- 2018 – Al-Baghdadi is ‘severely wounded‘ in an air raid
- 2019 – Al-Baghdadi allegedly appears in a video released by an Islamic State media group
- 2019 – Al-Baghdadi kills himself during U.S. raid
The Russian military has dismissed Trump’s al-Baghdadi speech as propaganda, while Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, declared that the U.S. had simply destroyed its “own creature.”
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that al-Baghdadi was killed, mentioned by U.S. military officials, and captured throughout 2007-2010. The al-Baghdadi mentioned in these instances was Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, not Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
- 2007 – Iraqi officials report the death of al-Baghdadi
- 2007 – U.S. Major General William Caldwell said it was not known who al-Baghdadi was or if he even existed
- 2007 – Brigadier-General Kevin Bergner told a news conference that al-Baghdadi did not exist at all
- 2009 – Reuters reports that Iraqi forces had captured al-Baghdadi
- 2010 – Al-Baghdadi is reported dead by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki from an airstrike
FBI Seizes Capitol Building LEGO Set From Alleged Rioter’s House
Many of us know, either from our childhood or even our adulthood, that building and collecting LEGO can be a fun hobby that allows us to tap into our creativity in a relaxing, stress-free way.
But what if someone’s LEGO hobby is something much more nefarious – or even seditious in the eyes of the government?
Such may have been the case when special agents with the FBI confiscated a fully completed LEGO set of the U.S. Capitol Building from the home of Robert Morss, 27, whom they allege participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, according to court documents published by The Smoking Gun.
The large LEGO set is comprised of 1,032 pieces and was released in 2016 and is no longer available for retail. The agents seized the finished set along with other items matching those they believe Morss had in his possession when he allegedly stormed the building – including a neck gaiter, a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, a military-style satchel, a black tourniquet, and military battle dress uniforms.
The documents also note that he “had three different firearms including a handgun, a shotgun and a rifle” in his possession.
According to LEGO, the United States Capitol Building set “focuses on the structure’s neoclassical style facade, steps and lawns” and is “finished with a decorative ‘US Capitol’ nameplate.” In 2019, the product was “retired” – which has less to do with politics and more to do with the limited availability of the company’s unique product lines.
Morss, who is from Pennsylvania, was arrested last month on a range of federal charges. According to the Department of Justice, his alleged crimes “include assaulting, resisting or impeding certain officers; obstruction of an official proceeding; civil disorder; and robbery of personal property of the United States.”
An FBI investigator’s affidavit notes that Morss joined rioters in direct confrontations with officers guarding the Lower West Terrace doors of the Capital in “an intense and prolonged clash between rioters and law enforcement.”
Law enforcement officers claim that they also found a notebook in Morss car that had instructions on a “Step by Step to Create Hometown Militia” that included a list of names, equipment, and sections on “ambush,” “battle drills,” and “formations.” The notebook also contained notes that said “bring assault rifle,” “4 magazines,” and “bring kit/body armor.”
However, the court documents do not indicate whether the LEGO set was deployed in tactical drills prior to the botched uprising.
The DOJ says that roughly 465 individuals have been arrested on charges related the events of Jan. 6.
Neptune, the Roman God of Water, ‘Emerges’ From Waves in Photo During UK Storm
If we were to believe our eyes, it would seem that the ancient Roman god of water himself made an appearance on the shores of New Haven, England, on a day of especially rough surf.
What appears to be the “face” of Neptune was captured on Tuesday when photographer Jeff Overs of the BBC was taking photos of waves crashing over the harbor wall in the port city.
Of course, one is free to believe that the ferocious deity emanated from the depths of the sea to remind us puny humans of his wrath.
But alas, it was likely a simple example of pareidolia – the phenomenon of seeing faces and figures in otherwise random or ambiguous everyday objects.
The photographer snapped the shot amid high tide and winds exceeding 50 miles per hour (80km/h), namely because of the violent nature of the shore.
“It’s become a popular location for photographers because the sea ‘boils’ in high wind against the sea wall,” Overs explained.
“The waves splash into the high wind and when blown back occasionally make patterns that look like ghoulish faces.”
Overs added that one of the small foreground waves even resembles a hand – albeit a pareidolic one.
“It’s a straight shot and I haven’t manipulated the image at all,” he added.
Lunar New Deal: GOP Lawmaker Suggests Altering Moon & Earth’s Orbit to Stop Climate Change
Texas Republican Congressman Louise Gohmert raised the eyebrows of his Congressional colleagues on Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that climate change could be combatted by changing the orbit of the moon, or even altering “Earth’s orbit around the sun.”
Gohmert, who has been decried as the “dumbest member of Congress” for his past absurdly anti-scientific comments regarding the ongoing pandemic and a number of other issues, has been a vocal opponent of progressive legislators’ attempts to put a “Green New Deal” on the government’s agenda.
However, his apparent suggestion of a “Lunar New Deal” to mitigate global warming could take the cake as his most hare-brained idea yet.
The comments came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on four pending bills while questioning Jennifer Eberlien of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, reports NBC.
“I understand, from what’s been testified to the Forest Service and the B.L.M. [Bureau of Land Management], you want very much to work on the issue of climate change,” the Texas congressman began.
“I was informed by the immediate past director of NASA that they’ve found that the moon’s orbit is changing slightly and so is the Earth’s orbit around the sun,” he continued.
“We know there’s been significant solar flare activity,” Gohmert said. “And so, is there anything that the National Forest Service or B.L.M. can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?”
“Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate,” the lawmaker added.
Responding, Eberlein said with a smile: “I would have to follow up with on you on that one, Mr. Gohmert.”
“If you figure out there’s a way in the forest service you could make that change, I’d like to know,” Gohmert responded, without any trace of irony.
Longtime critics of the conservative legislator were besides themselves with bewilderment and mockery over the out-of-this-world suggestion.
On the opposite side of the aisle California Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu suggested that perhaps Marvel Comics superheroine Captain Marvel was up to the task.
“She can alter planetary orbits with her superpowers. I’m going to work on a bipartisan resolution asking for her help,” Lieu wrote on Twitter.
According to NASA, the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history for various reasons, including small variations in the planet’s orbit.
However, the agency’s website notes that this doesn’t discount the fact that anthropogenic or human-caused activities are the culprit of the current warming.
“The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over millennia,” the site says.