THE Washington Post has apologised after its obituary described Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” – after removing the word terrorist.
The newspaper come in for heavy criticism for highlighting the ISIS chief’s academic pursuits hours after he died in a US special forces raid on his lair in Syria.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed when US special forces raided his compound in Syria[/caption]
The article’s original headline described Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-Chief” before it was changed to call him a “scholar” instead.
It sparked outrage and ridicule as critics accused the heavyweight newspaper of downplaying his horrific crimes.
One twitter user responded with a mock-up obit for Hitler in a similar style: “Adolf Hitler, simple Austrian painter at helm of Nazi Party, dies at 56.”
A Washington Post spokesperson Kristine Coratti Kelly later tweeted that the headline “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly”.
The obituary itself said of the world’s most wanted fugitive: “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.”
Announcing the jihadi’s demise, Donald Trump said Baghdadi “died like a dog” when he blew himself up in a tunnel when cornered by US special forces.
The President said the ISIS chief – who became the world’s most wanted man – died “crying, whimpering and screaming and bringing three kids with him”.
“A brutal killer, one who caused so much hardship and death, has been violently eliminated…he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child,” said Trump.
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Baghdadi came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria.
The murderous group carried out a number of atrocities that resulted in thousands of deaths.
Baghdadi – who had led the murderous cult since 2010 when it was still an underground al-Qaida offshoot in Iraq – had been the subject of an international manhunt for years and had a $25m bounty on his head.