James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Maajid Nawaz Reacts To Trump Announcement Of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Death
27 October 2019, 14:48
Maajid Nawaz gave his immediate reaction to Trump's speech announcing the death of al-Baghdadi in a US raid in north-western Syria.
Maajid Nawaz responded: "His language was fascinating, and also rather unexpected.
Perhaps our ears were unused to listening to the way in which he announced this us but he did indeed compare Baghdadi to a dog. He said he was whimpering and crying and screaming in a tunnel. He called ISIS 'savage monsters' and, as I said, compared the ISIS leader to a dog."
He went on: "The first thing I'd say is there was a lot of bravado in the speech. I think President Trump had been waiting for this moment.
He'd been waiting for his Osama bin Laden moment with President Obama. He'd been waiting to be able to say that he was tough on terrorism, that he had promised killing an ISIS leader and defeating ISIS and destroying the caliphate and look, he's able to deliver his promise."
Maajid continued: "The other thing I'd say, is President Trump touched on the intel value of the intel documents that were seized at the raid there with the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, I imagine this would have great, huge intel value to the US administration."
His third point was that there was a "level of revenge involved".
He said: "President Trump mentioned the four Americans that ISIS killed. He also singled out the Jordanian pilot that ISIS burned alive, and then indeed made reference to the Christians that ISIS went after and then, of course, to the tragic case of the Yazidis and the way in which the attempted genocide was carried out by ISIS against the poor Yazidi population there that had the misfortune of coming under their control as well."
Maajid then said: "Trump thanked the Syrian Kurds, the US intelligence community and the US troops. He didn't necessarily thank his European allies. Nor indeed, did he thank the United Kingdom in particular, but perhaps that you feel that's justified."
He then spoke about how this is symbolic and significant but "it doesn't change the power balance on the ground, Putin is still ahead in the game on the ground in the Middle East".
He continued: "Where it does have impact, I would say, is President Trump's domestic standing because going into an election it does definitely boost President Trump's ability to claim that he's able to deliver on his election promise to defeat ISIS."
He added: "It's also curious for me that both been logged in under Obama and Baghdadi under Trump announced the killing of these two leaders, just before they were going into their second term elections.
Now, that's not me peddling a conspiracy theory. But I am saying it helped both of them."
Finally, Maajid said: "We mustn't conclude from this that jihadism has been defeated. Though this has great symbolic value for President Trump and will aid him domestically going into a presidential election, I don't think it changes the fact that jihadism still has a firm grip on too many young and angry radicalised Muslims in the Middle East and the greater Middle East. And unfortunately those troubles aren't going away anytime soon."