Washington Examiner: The Washington Post changed the headline of its obituary of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi from “terrorist-in-chief” to describe him as an “austere religious scholar.”
U.S. forces killed Baghdadi Saturday after a successful raid on a compound in northern Syria.
While many celebrated the death of the serial rapist and murderer, the Washington Post left many confused by giving him the title of “austere religious scholar at the helm of the Islamic State.”
The Post acknowledged Baghdadi led ISIS with “shocking brutality” but focused much of its obituary on his academic career. “The man who would become the founding leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,” the Post wrote.
The reasons behind the newspaper’s decision to tout Baghdadi’s academic career rather than his brutal leadership were unclear. The first version of the story described Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-chief,” before it was changed to “austere religious scholar.”
In a press conference on Sunday morning, President Trump claimed Baghdadi died a coward.
“He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way,” Trump said.
UPDATE: Following backlash from the headline referring to Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar,” the Washington Post changed the headline a third time, calling Baghdadi an “extremist leader.”
The headline was then changed again to read: “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48.”
UPDATE 2: Vice President of Communications at Washington Post Kristine Coratti Kelly tweeted about the headline, “Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”