(UNDATED) – Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), Afghanistan war veteran and House Armed Services Committee member, reacted to the news that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed during an interview with Fox News Sunday.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was the Iraqi-born leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The group has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United Nations, as well as by the European Union and many individual states, while Baghdadi was considered a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States.
“This is big news… it’s been minimized by so many of the Trump critics this morning. Without minimizing the killing of Osama bin Laden, I don’t want to do that, but I do want to compare it to that. Because in some ways, this is much more significant than killing Osama bin Laden. What I mean by that is al-Baghdadi was not just the spiritual leader of ISIS, he was the chief recruiter. He was hunkered down, but he was still recruiting young ISIS fighters coming into the fold because so many of them thought he was immortal.”
“The killing of Bin Laden was retribution. This was very strategic. That’s why when President Trump came into office he brought his senior national security officials together and said, ‘We’re going to do whatever it takes to kill Baghdadi.’ And this was the culmination last night in President Trump achieving a key victory. This is a big moment for his administration. It’s a big moment for our country. This is a big moment for our national security.”