Washington Post changes al-Baghdadi obituary headline after calling ISIS leader 'austere religious scholar'

The Washington Post changed the headline on its obituary for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after initially calling him an “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State.”

The Post changed its headline for the obituary at least twice Sunday, starting by describing al-Baghdadi as the “Islamic State’s terrorist-in-chief.” The newspaper then adjusted the headline to call al-Baghdadi the “austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State,” sparking some backlash on social media. 

The headline has now been updated to describe al-Baghdadi as the “extremist leader of Islamic State.”

The Washington Examiner called out the Post for referring to al-Baghdadi as an “austere scholar.” While the Examiner acknowledged that the Post said al-Baghdadi led the terrorist organization with “shocking brutality,” the Examiner also noted that the Post spent most of the obituary focused on his academic career rather than his role in ISIS.

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“The man who would become the founding leader of the world’s most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,” the obituary reads.

Kristine Coratti Kelly, a spokesperson for the Post, tweeted that the headline “should never have read that way and we changed it quickly.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE confirmed al-Baghdadi’s death Sunday morning at a press conference, saying he died in a U.S. military raid in Syria. 

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,” the president said during the press conference.