MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who built the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — and once threatened now-Attorney General Keith Ellison — has died.
President Donald Trump announced al-Baghdadi’s death Sunday morning from the White House.
The president said a top secret, special operation targeting al-Baghdadi began two weeks ago, leading the U.S. military to scope out the ISIS leader and eventually stage a raid Saturday evening at a compound in northwestern Syria. President Trump said no Americans were killed during the two-hour ordeal.
In 2016, WCCO reported al-Baghdadi had a “hit list” of moderate Muslims that the terrorist organization was targeting for assassinations, and among them, was then-Rep. Keith Ellison.
Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, responded to the death of al-Baghdadi on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“I don’t even call them ISIS because that stands for Islamic State. They’re not Islamic; they’re not a state. They are violent, power-hungry people. That’s who they are, that’s what they’re about.”
Ellison added, “We’ve got to, as a nation, really evaluate our diplomatic approach to the Muslim world — to the world at large. We’ve got to build friendships and we have to alienate people and isolate and marginalize people like Baghdadi.”
Al-Baghdadi had been in hiding ever since he delivered a sermon at a mosque in Mosul in 2014. His most recent appearance came five years later, appearing in a video in April.