Trump slams NY Times for illegal leak compromising Baghdadi's capture

23 Jul 2017 | By Anupama Vijayakumar
Illegal leaks: Trump lashes out at US media

In his latest controversial tweet, Trump notes "The Failing New York Times foiled US attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security."

While Russia claims that Baghdadi was killed in an airstrike in Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis had recently said that he believed that Baghdadi was alive.

Trump did not back up his claims further.

In context: Illegal leaks: Trump lashes out at US media

23 Jul 2017Trump slams NY Times for illegal leak compromising Baghdadi's capture

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi?

Known as the 'ghost', Baghdadi is an Iraqi scholar in Islamic studies, who founded ISIS in 2010. He proclaimed himself the Caliph after ISIS captured Mosul in 2014. Baghdadi's leadership has been key in allowing the rise of ISIS in a short time.
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What was Trump referring to?

AboutWhat was Trump referring to?

US media speculates that Trump's claims may be based on a Fox News Report which referred General Tony Thomas's observations at a security conference held in Colorado.

Gen. Thomas had noted that US forces had a close lead on Baghdadi's whereabouts in 2015 and could have caught him.

"Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper ..... the lead went dead," he added.

Is Baghdadi dead?

Russian military indicated that Baghdadi had been killed in an air strike in Raqqa, Syria in June. It was later confirmed by the ISIS itself. US Defense Secretary James Mattis recently said that he believes Baghdadi is still alive, questioning the credibility of these reports.

AnalysisIs Trump at war against media?

Much has been written about Trump administration's so-called war against media from Twitter to the White House press rooms.

Media on the other hand seems to be losing credibility in the age of 'fake news' and its obsession with Trump.

Trump's anger against intelligence leaks in mainstream media compromising national security is not entirely unjustified, albeit, lashing out on Twitter may be un-presidential.

Washington Post gets lashed out at too!

Seeking an end to illegal leaks, Trump tweeted, "A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post, this time against AG Jeff Sessions. These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!", referring to a Washington Post report based on intelligence excerpts.