Maine’s congressional delegation on Sunday praised the efforts of U.S. special operations forces that led to the death of the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

President Trump announced the death on Sunday morning, detailing how a nighttime airborne raid led to al-Baghdadi being cornered in a dead-end tunnel in Syria. Trapped, al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and three of his children, Trump said.

“He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone,” Trump said.

The raid that led to the death of al-Baghdadi was the most high-profile operation against a terrorist leader since Osama bin Laden, who was killed by Navy SEALS on May 2, 2011, in Pakistan, during the Obama administration.

Trump said al-Baghdadi spent his final moments “crying, “whimpering” and “screaming.”

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said in a statement that the “successful operation” is a “testament to the tremendous skill and bravery of the men and women in our nation’s armed forces.”


“Our intelligence community and our allies also played important roles. This impressive raid is a major blow to ISIS, a ruthless terrorist organization responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians,” said Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “As we celebrate this victory in the war against terrorism, we should also keep in mind the resilience of terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda and the imperative to keep working with our allies to counter this threat.”

Al-Baghdadi had tens of thousands of followers, including some extremists in the United States, who claimed their allegiance to the terrorist leader, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said in a statement that while the military should be applauded for its work to eliminate al-Baghdadi, “we cannot fool ourselves into thinking that this marks the end of ISIS. … Al-Baghdadi is dead, but his hateful, abhorrent ideology survives.”

“Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a murderous extremist who spent his life advancing hate and violence, and his death means that the world is a safer place,” said King, a member of the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees. “I am grateful for the American military personnel who performed the dangerous raid with bravery and professionalism, the intelligence community’s painstaking efforts to locate al-Baghdadi, and the support of our regional partners who have stood with us against ISIS for years. This is a model for America’s war against terror – rooted in good intelligence, coordinated with strategic partners, and carried out by unparalleled military forces.”

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said al-Baghdadi’s death is a “victory for people worldwide who are threatened by the violence of ISIS.”

“I am grateful to our military and intelligence communities for their heroism and that no U.S. personnel were lost in this mission,” Pingree said in a statement. “We need to keep our focus on the goal of diminishing ISIS and combating violent extremism, while also promoting our policies to support allies and address grave humanitarian challenges.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, D-2nd District, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said that because of the “brave actions of our service members and intelligence personnel,” the terrorist leader “has been eliminated as a threat to the United States of America.”

“The loss of their leader will weaken ISIS, but the organization itself remains a threat to Americans abroad and at home,” said Golden, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “We should remain committed to improving our strategies and tactics to meet the ongoing threat from terrorist groups that target the U.S.”

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