Remains of ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Buried at Sea

Published October 29th, 2019 - 08:20 GMT
Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Mosul. (AFP/ File Photo)
Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in Mosul. (AFP/ File Photo)
Highlights
Baghdadi's body was mutilated in the blast and U.S. troops conducted a DNA test using a small field kit to confirm his identity.

The remains of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have been disposed of at sea as it is revealed that U.S. forces were able to confirm the ISIS leader's identity using DNA samples taken from his underwear and blood.

Baghdadi blew himself up after being cornered by U.S forces in a dead-end underground tunnel in his Syrian compound on Saturday.

His remains were then buried at sea, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Mike Milley, revealed on Monday. Osama bin Laden's remains were also disposed of at sea when he was killed in Pakistan in 2011.  

The daring raid on the compound where Baghdadi was hiding in Syria was the culmination of years of steady intelligence-gathering work - and 48 hours of hurry-up planning once Washington got word on where he would be.

His body was mutilated in the blast and U.S. troops had to dig through debris to reach his corpse. Soldiers conducted a DNA test using a small field kit to confirm his identity.

The terrorist's underwear and a blood sample were used to match his DNA, Syrian Democratic Forces (SFD) General Mazloum Abdi told NBC News.

The leader of the Kurdish militia said they had a source undercover in Baghdadi's inner circle who had direct access to the ISIS leader.

The source gave U.S. intelligence a pair of Baghdadi's used underwear and a blood sample at some point this summer.

U.S. soldiers used the DNA from those samples to positively identify him from the remains found in the compound after the blast. That same source was at Baghdadi's compound when it was raided and he left with U.S. forces, Abdi said.

The U.S. Defense Department has been working to speed up the DNA testing process for instances like this. 

When bin Laden was killed, U.S. forces had to send his remains off to an American lab in Afghanistan to confirm his identity via DNA. 

Baghdadi's DNA was confirmed to be a match within about 15 minutes, according to President Trump. 

U.S. forces are now using DNA-readers that are small enough for soldiers to take into combat and use on the ground quickly - producing results within two hours.

They weigh roughly 100 pounds and work like a traditional DNA laboratory system would.  

The White House, in a statement, said Baghdadi was identified via both DNA tests and visual evidence. 

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Baghdadi's head was reportedly still intact, which meant a bio metric facial-recognition scanner was used to identify him. 

Trump said U.S. troops remained in the compound for about two hours after al-Baghdadi's death and recovered highly sensitive material about the Islamic State group, including information about its future plans.

After the American troops retreated, U.S. fighter jets fired six rockets at the house, leveling it.

President Donald Trump said three previous attempts to capture the ISIS leader had been canceled because al-Baghdadi, who was under surveillance, had changed his mind about where he was going. 

Trump watched the raid in real time from the Situation Room via a video link as troops blasted into the hideout and sent the most-wanted militant running the last steps of his life.  

Trump said soldiers blasted a hole in the side of a building because they feared the entrance might have been booby-trapped. Al-Baghdadi fled into a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that snaked through the compound.

The stout, bearded militant leader wore a suicide vest and dragged along three children as he fled from the American troops.

Trump, happy to play up the drama, said that as U.S. troops and their dogs closed in, the militant went 'whimpering and crying and screaming all the way' to his death.

'He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down,' Trump said. 'He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.' 

This article has been adapted from its original source.  


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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