Corbyn: U.S. Should Have Arrested al-Baghdadi

November 13, 2019

United Kingdom Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Wednesday that American forces should have arrested Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during their raid on his compound last month, rather than letting the terrorist mastermind kill himself.

"If we preach international law and international legal process through the International Court of Justice in The Hague, then we should carry it out," Corbyn told the London-based radio station LBC. "If it's possible to arrest somebody and put them on trial, then that is what should have been done, and that is what I said about [Osama bin Laden's] death in 2011, and it will continue to be my principle."

The far-left Corbyn was referring to his remarks after the successful U.S. mission to kill bin Laden in 2011, which he called a "tragedy" because he was not arrested and put on trial instead.

When his interviewer outlined al-Baghdadi's horrific crimes and asked if his death should be viewed as a positive, Corbyn replied, "Him being removed from the scene is a very good thing."

"If it would have been possible to arrest him, I don't know the details of the circumstances at the time, I've only seen various statements put out by the U.S. about it, surely that would have been the right thing to do," he said.

The U.K.'s conservative prime minister Boris Johnson said it's not realistic to expect police to apprehend "a diabolic foe" such as al-Baghdadi.

"I think his approach is naïve, and naïve to the point of being dangerous," Johnson said about Corbyn.

Corbyn has a history of bizarre, controversial statements, many of which have been perceived as anti-Semitic or sympathetic to terrorism. He apologized last year for participating in a 2010 event that compared Israel's actions in Gaza to Nazi atrocities, and he has also expressed regret for supporting an artist whose mural depicted Jews playing Monopoly on the backs of naked people. He has also referred to members of Hezbollah and Hamas as "friends," another comment for which he subsequently apologized.

Al-Baghdadi died last month when he detonated a suicide vest as U.S. forces closed in on him in northwestern Syria. President Donald Trump hailed his death as a major victory in the battle against international terrorism.