The US got rid of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s body mere hours after a swift DNA test confirmed the terrorist’s identity, Pentagon officials said, adding that all evidence of the raid and his burial at sea remains classified.
Following the US special forces operation in northwestern Syria, in which Washington claims al-Baghdadi was eliminated, the mutilated body was immediately taken “to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing,” Army General Mike Milley, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a news briefing.
The disposal of his remains has been done and is complete and was handled appropriately.
Just like al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group chief was reportedly given a proper burial at sea in accordance with Islamic tradition, with all Muslim religious rites afforded to him. While the raid and subsequent processes of identification and body ‘disposal’ were documented in numerous photos and videos, they are yet to go through a “declassification process,” according to the US general.
We are not prepared at the time to release those.
Even though Donald Trump said earlier he was considering making “certain parts” of the video from the raid available to the public – presumably with al-Baghdadi “was whimpering, screaming, and crying” as he met his end – it remains unclear how much of footage would see the light, if any.
The Obama administration never publicly released any video footage of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, or photos of his body, claiming they could pose a “national security risk.”
Washington’s public announcement that al-Baghdadi had finally been neutralized, this time for real, sounded “confident,” but has yet to be backed up by hard evidence, the UN Monitoring Team on terrorist groups said previously. Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense Ministry questioned at least parts of the story, noting that despite Trump’s claims, it never opened up the Syrian air space under its control to US jets, and didn’t record any US coalition airstrikes in the area.