Three US presidents, three jihadist leaders liquidated | International

The first major anti-jihadist operation commanded by Joe Biden ended this week with the life of the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS), Abu Ibrahim al Hashemi al Quraishi, in Atmeh, northwestern Syria. This is the last victory that a US president can display in the fight against terrorism after his predecessors finished off Osama Bin Laden (in 2011, at the time of Barack Obama) and Abubaker al-Baghdadi (in 2019, with Donald Trump in front).

The war on terror was sworn in by President George W. Bush in 2001 after the 9/11 attack that shocked and changed the world against the financial and political hearts of the first superpower. It would take 10 years and a new president to be in the White House for revenge to be consummated by hunting down and capturing the most wanted man in the United States. The leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, demolished the Twin Towers, attacked the Pentagon and would have wiped the White House off the map if the plane destined for it hadn’t been diverted to a wasteland in the middle of Pennsylvania.

After more than a decade of unsuccessful searches and failures, ten years in which the legal limbo of Guantánamo was created to kidnap and interrogate suspects, years in which torture and selective assassinations were recognized and used by the US Administration, the On the first Sunday of spring in May 2011, with less than 30 minutes left in the day, Obama surprised a nation that erupted in cheers by announcing that an elite commando of the US Navy had shot down the most wanted of all time.

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“The world is safer now,” Obama declared as he returned the pride tarnished on 9/11. He announced, serious, cold, presidential, the death of Bin Laden. He was shot in the head during an operation that lasted 40 minutes in a residential complex some 60 kilometers north of Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, and a few meters from the main Pakistani military school. The first black president of the USA reported that the body of the leader of Al Qaeda had been thrown into the sea.

For history remains the photograph of Pete Souza in the Situation Room (crisis control room) of the White House while Obama follows the assault operation with his then vice president, Joe Biden, among others. His National Security team and a Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, with her hand on her face and an expression of fear, who shortly afterwards confessed that they had been the most intense 38 minutes of her life.

President Barack Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, receives a new piece of information from the mission that aimed to finish off Bin Laden.
President Barack Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, receives a new piece of information from the mission that aimed to finish off Bin Laden.Pete Souza (The White House)

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The two presidents who have followed Obama have also had their moment of glory in front of the television cameras to announce the death of some of the most wanted terrorists who appeared on the corresponding FBI list. But Bin Laden’s organization persists, even without its figure as a global structure, which also competes for jihadist hegemony with ISIS.

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Also on Sunday, Trump reported on October 27, 2019 that the man who in 2014 proclaimed the caliphate of the Islamic State that during the next three years of heyday would extend into Iraq and Syria, had died “like a dog, like a coward” . “The animal that tried to intimidate the rest has ended up crying and whimpering, terrified to see US forces closing in on it,” Trump said. Abubaker al-Baghdadi detonated the explosives belt he was carrying when he found himself cornered inside a tunnel during a military operation by a US commando in northwestern Syria. The fall of Al Baghdadi marked a milestone in the fight against the Islamic State and, with the operation, Trump managed to deflect for a time the important domestic crisis that he was experiencing with the process of his first impeachment.

With a terrible miscalculation, Biden wanted to coincide the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with the deadline for the presence of US troops in Afghanistan. But the chaotic departure from Kabul shows that there has been a winner in the war in that country, it has been the Taliban, back in power.

In a photograph similar to that of Obama, Biden continued last Thursday in the Situation Room Al-Qurayshi’s death. As Obama did at the time, the Democrat thus gave the order to launch the first major counter-terrorist operation of his term. Al Quraishi died along with at least 13 people, including six children, when he set off an explosives belt when he became aware of being besieged, as Al Baghdadi did.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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