'I Got Them': Trump Boasts of Taking Out 'Monsters Nastier' Than Bin Laden - Soleimani & al-Baghdadi
© AFP 2021 / BRANDON BELLFormer President Donald Trump looks on before speaking during a tour to an unfinished section of the border wall on June 30, 2021 in Pharr, Texas. Gov. Abbott has pledged to build a state-funded border wall between Texas and Mexico as a surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into the United States has challenged U.S. immigration agencies. So far in 2021, U.S. Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 900,000 immigrants crossing into the United States on the southern border.
As a terrorist attack targeting the perimeter of Kabul airport by Daesh*-Khorasan killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghan civilians trying to flee Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, a chorus of voices has been questioning US President Joe Biden’s decision to pull forces out of the war-torn country.
Former President Trump, who has not minced words in his vehement criticism of his successor Joe Biden’s handling of the troop pullout from Afghanistan, has weighed in on the volatile situation in Kabul.
As scores of civilians and 13 US servicemen died in the Thursday terror attack on the perimeter of the Afghan capital’s airport amid the botched evacuation, he boasted that while he was in the White House his administration had wiped out two “monsters”: Qasem Soleimani, former head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, and Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Trump, speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, compared the al-Qaeda leader and mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, killed by the US under then-President Barack Obama, to the two “nastier” terrorists he had successfully gone after.
The ex-POTUS bragged that Osama bin Laden “had one hit,” while the terrorists whose elimination he oversaw were much “bigger.”
“Osama bin Laden had one hit, and it was a bad one, in New York City, the World Trade Centre. But these other two guys were monsters. They were monsters. And I kept saying for years why aren't they getting them? For years, I said it. I got them,” said Trump.
The 9/11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamist terrorist group al-Qaeda that killed 2,996 people in the US. Hijackers crashed two planes into the World Trade Center, hijacked another that failed to reach its target, crashing in Shanksville, Pa., and a third that struck the west side of the Pentagon.
© AP Photo / RAHIMULLAH YOUSAFZAIIn this Dec. 24, 1998, file photo, al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
In this Dec. 24, 1998, file photo, al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden speaks to a selected group of reporters in mountains of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
© AP Photo / RAHIMULLAH YOUSAFZAI
In the aftermath of the attacks, suspicion fell onto al-Qaeda, with the United States formally responding by launching the War on Terror and invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had not complied with Washington’s demands to expel al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and extradite al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was killed in 2011 by a group of Navy SEALs who raided his compound in Pakistan.
Donald Trump then touted his administration’s success in dealing with Al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of Daesh, and one of Iran's most powerful commanders – General Soleimani.
© Photo : Telegram / @qasemsoleimani_irQasem Soleimani (left) pictured alongside Iraqi Shia militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (center).
Qasem Soleimani (left) pictured alongside Iraqi Shia militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (center).
© Photo : Telegram / @qasemsoleimani_ir
“We took out the founder of Isis, al-Baghdadi, and then of course Soleimani. Now just so you understand, Soleimani is bigger by many, many times than Osama bin Laden. The founder of ISIS is bigger by many, many times, al-Baghdadi than Osama bin Laden,” Trump told the radio host.
Leader of Daesh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who came to prominence in 2014, when he announced the creation of a "caliphate" in areas of Iraq and Syria, killed himself on 27 October 2019. According to General Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) commander who oversaw the operation, Baghdadi detonated a suicide belt when cornered by US commandos in northwest Syria. Trump had touted the operation as a major victory amid criticism over his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria.
General Qasem Soleimani, the former head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike ordered by former US President Donald Trump on 3 January 2020. Soleimani was heading to the Baghdad International Airport to meet Iraq's prime minister. The assassination was condemned by Tehran as a terrorist act that saw the slain commander hailed as a "martyr".
During his appearance on The Hugh Hewitt Show, Trump reiterated that what was unfolding in Afghanistan was a fiasco that was “the most embarrassing moment for our military and for our country.” He slammed Joe Biden who, in his opinion, doesn't know “what’s happening.” He underscored his own decisiveness in dealing with terrorists.
“Isis is tougher than the Taliban, and nastier than the Taliban. And Isis was watching, and then they were, they didn't exist anymore,” Trump said.
Referencing his peace agreement negotiated with the Taliban in February 2020, Trump told Hewitt he would have “bombed the hell” out of them had they violated the deal, and “they never would have come into Kabul.”
Trump once again ripped Biden for having “pulled the military out first” in Afghanistan, before the civilians and “before we get all of our equipment back.”
“A five-year-old child would leave the soldiers. Anybody would leave the soldiers,” argued Trump.
“I would have gotten all of the people that helped us out that were in danger… I would have taken the Americans out. I would have taken other deserving people out… then would have taken all military equipment. I then would have, with the exception of Bagram, bombed all of the bases. I would have bombed every base. I would have evacuated them,” said the ex-president.
© REUTERS / US MARINESFamilies board a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021
Families board a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021
The host asked Trump the question that has been uppermost in people’s minds regarding the evacuation from Kabul airport as the deadline draws near, “What is your advice to President Biden about leaving Americans behind?”
“Number one is never leave our people behind – soldiers, Americans. And they’re leaving, I believe, thousands, thousands. This is before you get to loyal Afghans, which is a very big subject in itself. You can’t do it. Can’t do it.”
Donald Trump concluded by saying that anything Washington does now is “made a thousand times tougher because of the worst decision” by Joe Biden.
* terrorist organisations outlawed in Russia and many other states.