Trump says U.S. has killed al-Baghdadi's 'number one replacement'

The president was speaking about the death of ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a U.S. official confirmed Tuesday.
President Donald Trump departs O'Hare International Airport after speaking at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition on Oct. 28, 2019, in Chicago.Evan Vucci / AP
By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the United States had killed the "number one replacement" to the Islamic State militant group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a U.S. raid over the weekend.

"Just confirmed that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s number one replacement has been terminated by American troops," Trump wrote. "Most likely would have taken the top spot — Now he is also Dead!"

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Trump was speaking about the death of ISIS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, a U.S. official confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday. A senior State Department official confirmed Monday that Muhajir had been killed in Syria during an operation by U.S. forces in which the Syrian Democratic Forces also played a large role. Muhajir's death was earlier announced by SDF commander Gen. Mazloum Abdi.

The tweet followed Trump's announcement Sunday morning of al-Baghdadi's death. The ISIS leader was the world's most-wanted terrorist. In his announcement, Trump provided sensitive details of the raid and intimate information regarding al-Baghdadi's death.

Allan Smith

Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News.

Hans Nichols contributed.