President Donald Trump accused The New York Times on Saturday of publishing a story that foiled a U.S. plot to kill Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Trump’s tweet appeared to reference a story aired by Fox News Saturday morning referencing a June 2015 story on a U.S. raid that yielded valuable intelligence.
— Will Wu (@w_wu) July 22, 2017
The June 2015 story revealed information on Baghdadi’s routine gleamed from a Delta Force raid deep in eastern Syria. The story revealed:
New insights yielded by the seized trove — four to seven terabytes of data, according to one official — include how the organization’s shadowy leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, operates and tries to avoid being tracked by coalition forces.
Mr. Baghdadi meets periodically with regional emirs, or leaders, at his headquarters in Raqqa in eastern Syria. To ensure his safety, specially entrusted drivers pick up each of the emirs and demand that they hand over their cellphones and any other electronic devices to avoid inadvertently disclosing their location through tracking by American intelligence, the officials said.
Reports have proliferated in recent months as to whether Baghdadi is dead. Pentagon officials insist there is no current information as to whether the terrorist leader is alive or dead.
“We’ve heard all kinds of reporting. Quite honestly, I hope he’s deader than a doornail. As soon as we find out where he is, he will be,” Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told reporters in mid-July.
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