Trump Says Islamic State Leader Was Killed In Special Operations Raid 

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We ran the numbers: There are 2651 news articles covering this topic. 20% (543) are left leaning, 44% (1162) center, 36% (946) right leaning.

On Sunday morning, President Trump announced that ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdhadi had been killed in a special forces raid in Syria. Right-leaning articles tend to focus on the raid as a success for the Trump administration, while left-leaning articles tend to compare Trump’s management of the news to Obama’s actions after the death of Osama bin Laden, and centrist articles focus on reporting the details of the raid.

A right-leaning article from Fox News reports on all-Baghdadi’s suicide after being cornered by American troops. The article reported a US military official’s comments saying “U.S. forces did a terrific job. This just shows it may take time, but terrorists will not find a sanctuary.” Other right-leaning articles, particularly from local outlets, criticized the Washington Post for running an obituary of al-Baghdadi with a headline that called him an “austere religious scholar” without referencing his leadership of ISIS until the text of the article.

A left-leaning New York Times article focuses on the impact of al-Baghdadi’s death on the Trump administration, claiming that it allowed Trump to have a TV moment that he had been hoping for and distracted from the ongoing impeachment proceedings against him. The article reads, “The Diplomatic Reception Room setting gave Mr. Trump the kind of made-for-television presidential moment he has long craved — a parallel to President Barack Obama’s late-night announcement in 2011 that Osama bin Laden had been killed.” The article notes that Trump described al-Baghdadi’s death in graphic detail, saying that al-Baghdadi died “like a dog.”

Centrist coverage from NPR reports Trump’s descriptions of the nighttime raid that led US forces to al-Baghdadi, noting that after the ISIS leader was chased to the end of a tunnel with his three children, he detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the children. Later DNA testing confirmed that the remains belonged to al-Baghdadi. The article also notes that, “Experts have cautioned that the killing of a leader of a terrorist organization does not represent the defeat of the group or its violent ideology,” saying that ISIS has sleeper cells around the world that could regenerate.


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