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memri
October 31, 2019 No.
8342

Articles In Arab Press: ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Served The U.S. And Was Eliminated After His Role Ended

The killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Idlib, Syria, announced by U.S. President Trump on October 27, 2019, was met with approval and praise from some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.[1] However, most of the articles on this topic in these countries' government and pro-regime press took a very different view, attacking the U.S. These articles accused the West, led by the U.S., of creating and cultivating the terror organizations, and claimed that Al-Baghdadi was a product of Western and other intelligence apparatuses and had served them until he was no longer needed – at which point they eliminated him. Some of the articles emphasized that President Trump had timed the operation for maximum political gain ahead of the U.S. presidential election. [2]

Syria issued no official response to Al-Baghdadi's killing, but its press as well leveled similar accusations at the U.S.

The following are translated excerpts from articles in the Saudi, Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian government dailies criticizing and accusing the U.S. following Al-Baghdadi's killing.

Egyptian Columnist: America Is The Father And Mother Of Terrorism

'Abd Al-Qader Muhammad 'Ali wrote in his October 28 column in the Egyptian daily Akhbar Al-Yawm: "America created Osama bin Laden, who carried out his mission in the best possible manner. When his role was ended, it killed him. After that, [America] created Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and after he carried out what was required of him and more, it killed him [too]. America is the father and mother of terrorism!..."[3]


'Abd Al-Qader Muhammad 'Ali's column

Egyptian Columnist: Al-Baghdadi, Bin Laden And Al-Zawahiri Are American Creations

Muhammad Al-Bahnsawi wrote, also in an October 28 column in Akbar Al-Yawm: "This time, it appears there was an urgent need to actually kill [Al-Baghdadi], not just [stage] a political and media show [as in the past] – since President Trump's beloved seat of power in the White House is now trembling under him, threatening the continuation of his reign. [This is] in light of the Congressional investigations [against him] and the furious attack on his decision to exit Syria and abandon the Kurds, Uncle Sam's allies, who remain exposed to the blaze of hatred of the bloodthirsty Ottoman sultan [Turkish President Erdogan]...

"It was essential to find Trump a safe exit from the difficult situation in which he found himself. However much [such an exit] costs, [it is clear] that America will pay nothing, but that our poor [Middle] East will pay in money or in blood. The exit [that was chosen] was the recent bad movie depicting Trump sitting with his entourage, just as Obama had when bin Laden was assassinated, following the assassination [operation] and announcing the end of the grief that Al-Baghdadi [had caused].

"But is this bad movie really over? And will it manage to fool us? Do any of us have even the smallest doubt that Al-Baghdadi, and before him bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri, and many others like them, were purely made in America, with the rubberstamp of the CIA and of its helpers in the Israeli Mossad and the Turkish, British, Russian, and other [countries'] intelligence apparatuses[?] [And what about] the evil media brainwashing planned by these intelligence apparatuses and carried out by the whoring channels and mouthpieces, including Al-Jazeera, the BBC, CNN, and others, so that people believe that the U.S. is fighting for a free, secure, and democratic Middle East[?] One hand murders and spills blood, while the other protests against the victims' tears. This international game has been going on in our region for decades, even centuries. The faces and the parties [participating in it] change, but the game – and the victims – remain the same.

"Will terrorism end, or retreat, with Al-Baghdadi's death? This can be answered with a different question: Did terrorism end with bin Laden's killing, with Al-Zawahiri's persecution, and with the tracking of their offshoots? For decades this has been an endless cycle with no exit... and I do not doubt for one moment that Al-Baghdadi's replacement has already been prepared and trained, and that his identity will be revealed very soon, so he can spread horror and slaughter."[4]


Cartoon in Sudanese daily: "ISIS" dances to America's tune (Source: alsudanalyawm.com, October 28, 2019)

Saudi Columnist: The Operation's Timing Is No Accident; Who Knows What The U.S. Intelligence Is Preparing For Us Next

Hamoud Abu Taleb, a columnist for the Saudi daily 'Okaz, wrote: "ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi became a focus of interest after the U.S. announced that it had carried out a lightning assassination operation at one of [Al-Baghdadi's] hiding places. This was preceded by President Trump's announcement – that resembled a marketing [teaser] – stating: 'Something very big has just happened!' The next day was the day of Al-Baghdadi, Trump, ISIS, and a series of American Rambo movies.

"Was there really anything surprising about the announcement of Al-Baghdadi's assassination in a military intelligence operation, as it was described? [After all], before Al-Baghdadi's [assassination] there was Al-Zarqawi's and Osama bin Laden's, which were announced in the same way – [i.e. as a] surprise military operation at a chosen time – and then the topic was buried along with all the unclear issues it involved.

"It is well known that the American monitoring covers the air and land very precisely... yet despite this, Al-Baghdadi used to move from place to place and lead an organization that controlled nearly half of Iraq and two-thirds of Syria without his [hiding] place or the convoys that moved with him being revealed. It is  inconceivable that [anyone] would expect the world to believe that Al-Baghdadi's ability to hide trumped the American spy and monitoring capabilities...

"These [terrorist] entities, that emerge suddenly and confound the world, are a wonder. They challenge [all] the forces, no matter how strong, and occupy our lands with their organizations, moving like mysterious ghosts. Coalitions arise to confront them, but are unable to defeat them. But then their leaders are suddenly found and assassinated, and then these organizations, with their thousands of members and all their equipment, evaporate. Al-Qaeda emerged, and disappeared after spawning new organizations. ISIS emerged and now its leader has disappeared, and it is not clear what will happen to his army and equipment – or what awaits us from the intelligence apparatus of Uncle Sam and his friends.”[5]

Saudi Writer: Al-Baghdadi Was An Agent Of The West – Which Is Responsible For Cultivating Terror Organizations

Khaled Suleiman wrote in his 'Okaz column: "American sources told media that the U.S. had acted to assassinate ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi [at this timing] for fear that all traces of him would be lost and they would be unable to act against him in the field since the U.S. forces were withdrawing from northern Syria. [They also said that] Al-Baghdadi and a number of extremist terrorists were under constant American surveillance!

"This reinforces the suspicions of those who think that Al-Baghdadi played a role that was laid out [for him], whether voluntarily or for pay, and that, after he carried out what was required of him in Iraq, he was put on the back burner, with the aim of calling him back when needed. It is inconceivable that his location was unknown or that it was impossible to locate him in a narrow geographical area bursting with superpowers' intelligence activity!

"Al-Baghdadi's killing reminds us of the killing of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. In both instances, neither the man targeted nor his wives were spared, but terrorism still lives and its roots and those behind it have not been dealt with. Terrorism emerges only in a supportive environment, and [the existence of] this environment requires the West to take a look at itself in order to understand that it bears the most responsibility for the emergence of the terror organizations and for helping them to survive. It is impossible to separate terrorism from the elements of oppression that serve the extremist elements in recruiting [young activists], starting with the oppression of the Palestinian cause through the war of extermination in Syria to the occupation of Iraq and the sectarian shredding of its [society].   

"[Now,] as we await the rise of the new terrorist leader in the region, the West may complain about the terrorism and celebrate the murder of terrorists. But it cannot deny its responsibility for creating this terrorism and these terrorists!"[6]


Cartoon in UAE daily: Al-Baghdadi assassination catapults Trump into his "second term in office" (Source: Al-Ittihad, UAE, October 28, 2019)

Jordanian Columnist: The U.S. And The Mossad Created Al-Baghdadi In Order To Harm Islam And The Muslims

Rashad Abu Daoud wrote in his column in the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour: "They did not kill [Al-Baghdadi], and he did not blow himself up. He is currently in one of two places: He may be in Washington, at the headquarters of the Blackwater mercenary company, which carried out the sadistic atrocities at Abu Ghuraib prison on the eve of the American occupation of Iraq. Or, perhaps, he has resumed his position and status at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv, and is now wearing a skullcap, toasting the success of his mission with his colleagues. That is the more likely possibility.

"Basically, ISIS is a product of the U.S. and Israel, and is one of the manifestations of their close strategic cooperation... The role of Israel and its Mossad intelligence apparatus was to train a 'caliph' and a leadership for the Islamic State. In 1956, the Mossad founded the so-called Islamic University of Tel Aviv, which teaches various Islamic subjects and which non-Jewish students are forbidden to attend. The Mossad oversees this university and is in charge of every aspect of it. It selects the study material and curriculum for each subject, the lecturers who teach at the university, and the students who attend it, according to a program carefully crafted to achieve [its] objectives... The students attend special courses in which they practice living as Muslims, forming relationships with them, deceiving them, and misleading them...

"The students graduate after acquiring an education in Islam and Islamic jurisprudence, [presented] from the Jewish perspective on Islam. Each of these graduates is an integral part of the Mossad, which provides him with high-level intelligence training. The Mossad turns each of these Jewish graduates into a Muslim sheikh, who is presented as a senior religious scholar. This 'Jewish sheikh' is given a Muslim name, and the Mossad assigns him to a [specific] location where he operates among the Muslims, [a location selected] with perfect intelligence precision.

"There he operates in the Islamic arena, forming relationships with Muslims, lives among them, spies on them, and reports everything about them, in minute detail, to the Mossad. He is introduced to the area under an opaque name like Abu 'Omar Al-Shami, Abu 'Ali Al-Maghrabi, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, or the like. He issues terrorist fatwas, which are drafted by the Mossad with the aim of blackening the true image of Islam. He may seek to establish an Islamic organization and recruit certain people into it, and that organization may carry out operations, planned by the sheikh who is a Mossad plant.

"Do not all these descriptions fit [Abu Bakr] Al-Baghdadi and what ISIS did to blacken the image of Islam?! Did [ISIS] not carry out massacres in most of the Muslim countries while refraining from killing even a single mouse in Israel?!"[7]  

Jordanian Columnist: The U.S. Used Al-Baghdadi To Fight Iran And Blacken The Muslims' Image

Maher Abu Tir wrote in the Jordanian Al-Ghad daily on October 30: "I would never have believed that the U.S. and the countries of the region were incapable of reaching Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi – because they deliberately left him alone so that he could expand his influence in a framework that [could] be at least partially controlled. He was recently killed after completing his mission, [two] aims of which were exploiting him for the struggle against Iran, and damaging the reputation of Muslims worldwide.

"They operate like this every decade or two: creating an individual or an organization for a particular aim, for example for the struggle against the USSR in the past or the struggle against Iran and its supporters now. In both cases, the results spun completely out of control, and [their creators] left them [alone] for years, and then began assassinating them in advance of a new era."[8]


Cartoon in Lebanese daily: "Trump Announces Al-Baghdadi's Killing" (Source: Al-Jumhouriyya, Lebanon, October 28, 2019)

Syrian Columnist: Al-Baghdadi Was Killed To Promote Trump's Election Campaign

'Ali Nasrallah wrote in his column in the Al-Thawra daily: "Al-Baghdadi, just like bin Laden and [Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham leader Abu Muhammad] Al-Joulani, are all products of the U.S., and are controlled remotely from America. It is untrue that the assassination of any of them requires intelligence efforts involving surveillance, accurate information, cooperation among teams, and the enlisting of [brilliant] minds. The departments of the Pentagon and [U.S.] intelligence apparatuses possess [information about] the movements of these figures, their media outlets and even the details of their [personal] diaries. All that is needed in order to kill them is a decision taken at a certain moment in time, for political [reasons], in order to benefit from [the assassination] and rely on it.

"Al-Baghdadi's killing thus required only a political decision, dictated by election needs or by internal U.S. struggles, because he had been under U.S. control ever since [they] released him [from their custody] so he could establish ISIS. Hence, Trump's inventions, aimed at inflating the importance of what he described as this complicated operation, [represent] only the advanced use of the techniques of deception, invention, and fabrication so as to achieve the best possible results – whether in the [upcoming U.S.] elections and the political arena or in attempt to burnish America's tarnished image."[9]

Syrian Columnist: Turkey, U.S. Sheltered Al-Baghdadi In Idlib

Columnist 'Abd Al-Halim Sa'ud wrote in the same daily: "Al-Baghdadi, who has in recent years been a global preoccupation... is a blatant American product, just like his predecessor, Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Al-Baghdadi and his barbaric terror organization grew in Iraq under the watchful eye of the CIA, and provided an appropriate excuse for U.S. intervention in Syria. Nobody knows why this terrorist was staying in Idlib, of all places, after his organization was defeated in Syria and Iraq – except for the U.S. and Turkey, who were firmly opposed to any Syrian military operation in Idlib in the recent period.

"It is patently clear that the assassination of Al-Baghdadi, who was hiding in Idlib under U.S.-Turkish sponsorship, was carried out at this time in order to improve Trump's hand in the [upcoming] election, since currently he is under pressure at home that threatens his political future. [Another goal was] to draw public attention away from the continued presence of U.S. forces in Syria's Jazira [region]. [These forces are] robbers aiming to steal [Syria's] oil and prevent the liberation of the remaining Syrian land. But this bargaining chip [of Al-Baghdadi's assassination] will soon be spent.”[10] 

 
Cartoon in Syrian daily: CIA stages Al-Baghdadi's killing (Source: Teshreen, Syria, October 29, 2019)

 

[1] In a phone call, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman congratulated President Trump on the success of the operation to eliminate Al-Baghdadi, "the commander of the terrorist ISIS" organization (Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 29, 2019). In a statement, the Saudi Foreign Ministry stressed the kingdom's "appreciation for the U.S. administration's great efforts to capture the members of this dangerous terror organization, which acted to distort the true image of Islam and the Muslims" and added that Saudi Arabia would continue to fight terrorism alongside its allies, led by the U.S. ('Okaz, Saudi Arabia, October 28, 2019). Jordan's King Abdullah II also phoned Trump, and stated in the call that Al-Baghdadi's killing was "an important step in the fight against terror." He added that "Jordan will continue to invest efforts in combatting terror on the military, security and ideological [fronts]" and would continue to play "a central and active role in the international anti-ISIS coalition" (Al-Rai, Jordan, October 29, 2019). Additionally, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi, tweeted a similar message (Twitter.com/AymanHsafadi, October 28, 2019). Egypt likewise welcomed the U.S. operation, and called for a U.S. fight against the Muslim Brotherhood as well. Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez congratulated the U.S. on its assassination of the "terrorist" Al-Baghdadi and called for continued efforts "to eliminate all forms of terror, without distinction," including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood (Gate.ahram.org.eg, October 28, 2019).

[2] A notable exception was an article by Saudi writer 'Abdallah bin Bakhit accusing the Arab world and Saudi Arabia itself of cultivating terrorist ideology. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.8340, Saudi Writer: Those Who Blame U.S. For ISIS Terrorism Disregard The Fact That For Years Millions Have Been Taught Extremism And Hatred For The West, October 30, 2019.

[3] Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 28, 2019.

[4] Akhbar Al-Yawm (Egypt), October 28, 2019.

[5] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), October 28, 2019.

[6] 'Okaz (Saudi Arabia), October 28, 2019.

[7] Al-Dustour (Jordan), October 29, 2019.

[8] Al-Ghad (Jordan), October 30, 2019.

[9] Al-Thawra (Syria), October 28, 2019.

[10] Al-Thawra (Syria), October 28, 2019.