Trump Touts Victory: Announces Capture of Five Most Wanted ISIS Leaders


President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday morning that five of the most wanted Islamic State group leaders have been captured, adding to what many in the media noted has been a strong week of accomplishment for his administration.

The New York Times reported, “Five senior Islamic State officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group’s leader, in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence, two Iraqi officials said Wednesday.”

According to The Times, the capture of the Islamic State leaders, which was part of a three month sting operation “represents a significant intelligence victory for the American-led coalition fighting the extremist group and underscores the strengthening relationship between Washington and Baghdad.”

Two Iraqi officials said those captured consisted of four Iraqis and one Syrian, and their responsibilities included governing the Islamic State group’s territory around the town of Deir ez-Zor, near the Iraq-Syria border.

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Reuters reported the sting operation was precipitated by the February capture of Ismail al-Eithawi, a top aide to Islamic state leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“Iraqi agents then used the Telegram messaging app on (Eithawi’s) mobile phone to lure four commanders from the group to cross the border from Syria into Iraq and into a trap,” Iraqi government security adviser Hisham al-Hashimi told Reuters.

Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with U.S. forces. The United States is leading a coalition of nations fighting Islamic State fighters on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border.

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The security adviser added that Iraqi and American intelligence agents were able to uncover banks accounts and secret communication codes used by the terrorist group as a result of the operation.

Baghdadi — who declared himself the ruler of the Islamic State following the capture of Mosul in northern Iraq in 2014 — is believed to be near the border region between Iraq and Syria.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces retook Mosul — the last major Iraqi city held by the Islamic State — in July 2017, just six months into Trump’s presidency.

Reuters reported that the Islamic State group has now lost all the cities and towns that once made up its so-called caliphate.

“The noose is tightening around him,” Hashimi said, referring to Baghdadi.

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Many took to social media to celebrate the good news Trump has received this week.

The Daily Caller’s Amber Athey tweeted a list.

The president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr. wrote that it had been an “impressive” last 12 hours.

Even The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, a frequent Trump critic, had to concede events have been going the president’s way.

Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro suggested Trump’s decision making is not too difficult to comprehend.

“Trump having himself an amazing week. As always, all he had to do was think ‘What Would Obama Do?’ And then do the opposite,” Shapiro wrote.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith