Let's go now to President Trump from the White House. Last night, the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice.
Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world. The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years, capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration. U.S. Special Operations Forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid. In northwestern Syria, an accomplished. Their mission and grand style. The U.S. personnel. We're incredible. I got to watch much of it.
No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of. Baghdadi's fighters and companions were killed with him. He died after running into a dead end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way. The compound had been cleared by this time with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house and are uninjured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi and the tunnel. And he had drag three of his young children with him.
They were led to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast. The tunnel had caved in on it. In addition. But test results gave certain. Immediate and totally positive identification. It was him. 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.
We were in the compound for approximately two hours, and after the mission was accomplished, we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid, much having to do with ISIS origins, future plans. Things that we very much want. Baghdadi's demise demonstrates America's relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders. And our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
Our reach is very long. As you know, last month we announced that we recently killed Hamza bin Laden.
The very violent son of Osama bin Laden, who was saying very bad things about people, about our country, about the world. He was the heir apparent to al-Qaeda. Terrorists to oppress and murder innocent people. Should never sleep soundly, knowing that we will completely destroy them. These savage monsters will not escape their fate. And they will not escape the final judgment of God. Baghdadi has been on the run for many years, long before I took office.
But in my direction as commander in chief of the United States. We obliterated his caliphate 100 percent in March of this year. Today's events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue. The remaining ISIS terrorists. To their brutal end. That also goes for other terrorist organizations. They are likewise in our sights. Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him.
And losers, they are. They had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were. Very frightened puppies. In other cases, they were hard core killers. But they killed many, many people. The murder of innocent Americans, James Foley. Steven Sotloff. Peter Kassig. And Kayla Mueller. Were especially heinous. The shocking publicized murder of a Jordanian pilot. A wonderful young man. Spoke to the king of Jordan. They all knew him, they all loved.
He was burned alive in a cage for all to see. And the execution of Christians in Libya and Egypt, as well as the genocidal mass murder of UCD.
Rank ISIS among the most depraved organizations. The history. Of our world. The forced religious conversions, the orange suits prior to so many beheadings. All of which were openly displayed for the world to see. This was all. That Abu Bakar Albergotti. This is what he wanted. This is what he was proud of. He was a sick and depraved man and now he's gone. Baghdadi was vicious and violent and he died in a vicious and violent way as a coward, running and crying.
This raid was impeccable and could only have taken place with the acknowledgment and help of certain other nations and people. I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria and Iraq. And I also want to thank the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us. Soos a very, very dangerous mission. Thank you as well to the great intelligence professionals who helped make this very successful journey possible.
I want to thank the soldiers and sailors, airmen and Marines involved in last night's operation. You are the very best there is anywhere in the world, no matter where you go. There is nobody even close.
I want to thank General Mark Milley and our Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I also want to thank our professionals who work in other agencies of the United States government. And we're critical to the mission's unbelievable success. Last night was a great night for the United States and for the world. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death. Has violently been eliminated. He will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog.
He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place. God bless America. Thank you. Any questions? Operation we started. We've had him under surveillance for a couple of weeks. We knew a little bit about where he was going, where he was heading. We had very good information that he was going to another location. He didn't go to or three. Efforts were cancelled because he decided to change his mind, constantly changing his mind.
And finally, we saw that he was here, held up here. We knew something about the compound. We knew it had tunnels. The tunnels were dead end for the most part. There was one we think that wasn't. But we had that covered, too, just in case the level of intelligence, the level of work was was pretty amazing.
When we landed with eight helicopters, a large crew of brilliant fighters ran out of those helicopters and blew holes into the side of the building, not wanting to go through the main door because that was booby trapped. And there was something there was something really amazing to see. I got to watch it along with General Milley, Vice President Pence, others in THE SITUATION ROOM. And we watched it so clearly.
How did you how did you watch it? Well, I don't want to say how, but we had absolutely perfect as though you were watching a movie. It was that that in the technology there alone is is really great. A big part of the trip that was of great danger was the it was approximately an hour and 10 minute flight. And we're flying over a very, very dangerous territory. In fact, some of our leaders said that that could be the most dangerous flying in and flying out.
And that's why last night we were so quiet about it. We didn't say anything. And I didn't make my remark until after they had landed safely in a certain area.
But the flight and the flight out was a very, very dangerous part. There was a chance that we would have met unbelievable fire.
Russia treated us great. They opened up. We had a fly over certain Russia areas. Russia held areas. Russia was great.
Iraq was excellent. We really had great cooperation. And you have to understand, they didn't know what we were doing and where we were going exactly.
But the ISIS fighters are hated as much by Russia and some of these other countries as they are by us. And that's why I say they should start doing a lot of the fighting now. And they'll be able to. I really believe they'll be able to. Yes.
Jennifer played in that. They gave us not a military role at all, but they gave us some information that turned out to be helpful.
The Kurds in Iraq, who. What was the role of Turkey?
We dealt with them. They know we were going in. We flew over some territory.
They were terrific. No problem. They were not problem. You know, they could start shooting and then we will take them out. But a lot of bad things can happen. Plus, it was a very secret mission.
We flew very, very low and very, very fast.
But it was a big it was a very dangerous part of the mission getting in and getting out to equal. We went in identical we took an identical route. We met with gunfire coming in.
But it was local gunfire. That gunfire was immediately terminated. These people are amazing. They had the gunfire terminated immediately meeting. They were shot from the airships.
The timing. You talked earlier about pulling troops out. How do you see the timing of when this happened?
Well, from the first day I came to office and now we're getting close to three years, I would say, whereas al-Baghdadi I want al-Baghdadi and we would kill terrorist leaders.
But they were names I never heard of. They were names that weren't recognizable. And they weren't the big names. Some good ones, some important ones, but they weren't the big names. I kept saying, where's al Baghdadi?
And a couple of weeks ago, they were able to scope him out.
You know, these people are very smart. They're not into the use of cell phones anymore. They're not. They're very tactically brilliant. You know, they use the Internet better than almost anybody in the world. Perhaps other than Donald Trump. But they use the Internet incredibly well. And what they've done with the Internet through recruiting and everything. And that's why he died like a dog. He died like a coward.
He was whimpering, screaming and crying. And frankly, I think it's something that should be brought out so that his followers and all of these young kids that want to leave various countries, including the United States, they should see how he died. He didn't die a hero. He died a coward. Crying, whimpering, screaming and bringing three kids with him today, certain death.
And he knew the tunnel had no end. I mean, it was a it was a closed, closed end called a closed end tunnel. Not a good place to be for you.
Maybe now that you're I've been looking for him for three years.
I've been looking for him. I started getting some very positive feedback about a month ago. And we had some incredible intelligence officials that did a great job. That's what they should be focused on.
About what time did this operation start yesterday?
You know, when this operation started two weeks ago in terms of the real operation, because we had him scoped, we thought he'd be in a certain location. He was. Things started checking out very well.
We were involved in on our own team with some brilliant people who have gotten to know brilliant people that love our country, highly intelligent people.
And we we've had it pretty well scoped out for a couple of weeks.
But he tends to change immediately. He had a lot of cash. He tends to change like on a dime where he'll be going to a certain location. All of a sudden he'll go someplace else and you'll have to cancel. But this was one where we knew he was there. And you can never be 100 percent sure because you're basing it on technology more than anything else. But we thought he was there and then we got a confirmation. And when we went in, they were greeted with a lot of fire power, a lot of firepower to these guys.
They do a job. They are so brave and so good. And so importantly, many of his people were killed and.
We'll announce the exact number over the next 24 hours, but many were killed. We lost nobody. Think of that. It's incredible.
When you told the Russians our dog was hurt. Actually, the canine was hurt, went into the tunnel, but we lost.
Nobody would question the questions and fly over this area that controlled. What did you. We spoke to the Russians. Did you tell them? We told them we're coming in.
And they said, thank you for telling us.
They were very good. You tell me why. No, they did not know. Why was any other. We didn't tell them.
We think you're going to be very happy because, you know, again, they hate ISIS as much as we do. You know what ISIS has done to Russia. So, no, we did not tell. They did not know the mission, but they knew we were going over an area that they had that a lot of firepower.
You notified the president about the policy? We notified some.
Others are being notified. Now, as I speak, we were going to notify him last night, but we decided not to do that because Washington leaks like I've never seen before. There's nothing there's no country in the world that leaks like we do in Washington is a leaking machine.
And I told my people we will not notify them until the our great people are out, not just in, but out.
I don't want to have them greeted with firepower like you wouldn't believe.
So we were able to get in. It was top secret. It was kept. There were no leaks. Don't think the only people that knew with a few people that I dealt with. And again, Mark Billy and the Joint Chiefs of Staff were incredible. We had some tremendous backup. Robert O'Brian, Secretary Esper. Secretary Pompeo. pentz, I told you he was great. There's a very small group of people that knew about this. We had very, very few people.
We a leak a leak could have caused the death of all of them now.
They're so good that I think nothing was going to stop him anyway. You wouldn't know the truth. That's how good they were. We had them also surrounded by massive air power up in the air yesterday, surrounded at very high levels. We were very low. We had tremendous air power.
You watched all this from the sit room.
Who were you with in this room when you were Secretary Esper? A few of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley, some generals. We had some very great military people in that room and we had some great intelligence people. Robert O'Brian.
Really good. Yes. With the fallout of the U.S. in Syria last month. Strategically tied with with this raid, we on the pullout.
Right, sure. It's a great question. And you're doing a great job, by the way. Your network is fantastic. They're really doing a great job. Please let them know.
No, the the pullout had nothing to do with this. In fact, we found this out at a similar time. It's a very good question, because we found this out at a similar time. No, we're after these leaders and we have others in sight, very bad ones. But this was the big one. This is the biggest one perhaps that we've ever captured, because this is the one that built ISIS and beyond and was looking to rebuild it again very, very strongly, looking to build it again.
That's why he went to this province. That's why he went to this area. You know, a lot of people I was watching this morning and hearing and they said, why was he there? People were so surprised. Well, that's where he was trying to rebuild from, because that was the place that made most sense. If you're looking to rebuild. Yeah.
So he said that right after I knew they had landed safely in April.
And I was to notify you guys that you have something big this morning so you wouldn't be out playing golf or tennis where we were today or otherwise being indisposed.
Where were they say we're going to hit where they landed? I'd rather not say, but we landed in a very friendly port in a friendly country.
Give you any pause about your decision to withdraw? No, I think it's great. Look, we don't want to keep soldiers between Syria and Turkey for the next 200 years. They've been fighting for hundreds of years. We're out. But we are leaving soldiers to secure the oil. Now we may have to fight for the oil. It's OK. Maybe somebody else wants, you know, which case they have a hell of a fight. But there's massive amounts of oil and we're securing it for a couple of reasons.
Number one, it stops ISIS because ISIS got tremendous wealth from that oil. We have taken it, secure it. Number two, and again, somebody else may claim it, but either we'll negotiate a deal with whoever's claiming it. If we think it's fair or we will militarily stop them very quickly. We have tremendous power in that part of the world. We have you know, the airport is right nearby, a very big, very monsters., very, very powerful airport and very expensive airport that was built years ago.
We're in therefore, we're in the Middle East now for eight trillion dollars.
So we don't want to be keeping Syria and Turkey. They're going to have to make their own decision. The Kurds have worked along incredibly with us. But in all fairness, it was much easier dealing with the Kurds after they went through three days of fighting because that was a brutal three days. And if we would have said to the Kurds, hey, do you mind moving over seven miles because, you know, they were in the middle mostly. So you have seven or eight miles.
Could you mind moving over? Because I have to say, Turkey has taken tremendous deaths from that part of the world. You know, we call it a safe zone, but it was anything but a safe zone. Turkey has lost thousands and thousands of people from that safe zone. So they've always wanted that safe zone for many years. I'm glad I was able to help them get it.
But we don't want to be there. We want to be home. I want our soldiers home or fighting something that's meaningful. I'll tell you who loves us being there.
Russia and China. Because while they build their military with depleting our military there.
So Russia loves us being there. Now, Russia likes us being there for two reasons. Because we kill ISIS, we kill terrorists. And they're very close to Russia. We're a thousand miles away. Maybe they can get here. But we've done very well with homeland security and the ban, which, by the way, is approved by the United States Supreme Court, as you know. You know, there was a reporter that said we lost the case and he was right in the early court.
He refused. He didn't want to say just refused to say that we won the case in the Supreme Court. So, you know, but we have a very effective ban and it's very hard for people to come to our country, but it's many thousands of miles away, whereas Russia is right there. Turkey's right there. Syria is there. They're all right there. Excuse me. Iran is right there. Iraq is right there.
They all hate ISIS. So we don't you know, in theory, they should do something. I'll give you something else. The European nations have been a tremendous disappointment because I personally called, but my people called a lot. Take your ISIS fighters. And they didn't want them. They said we don't want it. They came from France.
They came from Germany. They came from. UK. They came from a lot of countries, and I actually said to him, you don't take him. I'm going to drop them right on your border and you can have fun capturing them again. But the United States taxpayer is not going to pay for the next 50 years. You see what Guantanamo costs. We're not going to pay tens of billions of dollars because we were good enough to capture people that want to go back to Germany, France, UK and other parts of Europe.
And they can walk back. They can't walk to our country. We have lots of water in between our country and them. So.
You mention that you've met some gotten to know some brilliant people along this process who really had helped provide information and and advice along the way. Is there any one in particular or would you give anyone credit for getting to this point today?
Well, I would, but if I mentioned one I have to mention so many. I spoke to Senator Richard Burr this morning. And as you know, he's very involved with intelligence and the committee and he's a great gentleman. I spoke with Lindsey Graham just a little while ago. In fact, Lindsey Graham is right over here and he's been very much involved in the subject. And he's a he's a very strong hawk. But I think Lindsey agrees with what we're doing now.
And again, there are plenty of other countries that can help them patrol. I don't want to leave 1000 or 2000 or 3000 soldiers on the border, but where Lindsey and I totally agree is the oil the oil is, you know, so valuable for many reasons. It fueled ISIS, number one. Number two, it helps the Kurds because it's basically been taken away from the Kurds.
They were able to live with that oil.
And number three, it can help us because we should be able to take some also. And what I intend to do, perhaps, is make a deal with an Exxon Mobil or one of our great companies to go in there and do it properly. Right now, it's not big. It's big oil underground, but it's not big oil up top. Much of the machinery has been shot and dead. It's been through wars, but and and spread out the wealth.
But now we're protecting the oil. We're securing the oil. Now, that doesn't mean we don't make a deal at some point, but I don't want to be there fighting for a thousand years. They're fighting for centuries. I want to bring our soldiers back home, but I do want to secure the oil of use. Read about the history of Donald Trump. I was a civilian. I had absolutely nothing to do with going into Iraq. And I was totally against it.
But I always used to say if they're going to go in.
Nobody cared that much. But it got written about if they're going to go in. I'm sure you've heard the statement because I made it when any human being alive, if they're going into Iraq, keep the oil.
They never did. They never did.
I know Lindsey Graham had a bill where basically we would have been paid back for all of the billions of dollars that we've spent. Many, many billions of dollars. I mean, I hate to say it. It's actually trillions of dollars, but many, many billions of dollars.
And by one vote, they were unable to get that approved in the Senate. They had some pretty big opposition from people that shouldn't have opposed like a president. And they weren't able if you did that, Iraq would be a much different story today because they would be owing us a lot of money. They would be treating us much differently. But I will say Iraq was very good with respect to the raid.
Last may depend at the time you got back to the White House around 4:30 yesterday afternoon. Did you immediately go to THE SITUATION ROOM? I knew all about this for three days. We thought for three days this is what was going to happen. It was actually look, nobody was even hurt or canine as they call I call it a dog, a beautiful dog. A talented dog was injured and brought back. But we had no soldier injured. And they did a lot of shooting and they did a lot of blasting, even not going through the front door.
You know, you think you go through the door if you're a normal person, you say knock, knock. May I come in?
The fact is that they blasted their way into the house in a very heavy wall and it took them literally seconds by the time those things went off.
They had a beautiful big hole and they ran and then they got everybody by surprise. Onbut unbelievably brilliant as fighters. I don't I can't imagine there could be anybody better. And these, as you know, are our top operations people.
Baghdadi apparently had been in bad health for some time. Were there any indication of that?
Well, we don't know that, but he was the last one out and his people had either been killed, which there were many.
Or gave up and came out because with the eleven children that came out, we were able to do that. We don't know if they were his children. They might have been. But as I said, three died in the tunnel and the tunnel collapsed with the explosion. But but you had other fighters coming out also and they're being brought back.
They're being there right now. We have them imprisoned children.
They went by. Do you remember what time you went into this situation?
Well, I started at five o'clock.
We were pretty much gathered at five o'clock yesterday. We were in contact all day long through hopefully secure phones. I'll let you know tomorrow. But nothing seemed to leak. So I guess they were secure for a change. But we gathered more or less at 5:00. The attack started moments after that. The the lift-off started moments after that.
Again, the the element of attack that they were most afraid of was getting from our base into that compound because this tremendous firepower that we were flying over and I won't go into it.
But you had a very big Russian presence in one area. You had a Turkish presence. You had a Syrian presence. And you're flying low. It's very dangerous. And there were shots made, but we think these were people that were shooting, that were indiscriminately shooting. The helicopters took some shots. But we think that these were people that were just random people that don't like to see helicopters, I guess.
Was there any kind of DNA test? So that's another part of the genius of these people. They brought his they have his DNA. More of it than they want even. And they brought it with them, with lab technicians who were with them. And they assumed that this was Baghdadi. They thought visually it was him, but they assumed it was him. And they did a site, an onsite test. They got samples.
And to get to his body, they had to remove a lot of debris because the tunnel had collapsed. But these people are very good at that. And and they as I said, they brought body parts back with them, etc. So there wasn't much left. The the the vest blew up. But there are still substantial pieces that they brought back. So they did it on site tests because we had to know this. And it was a very quick call that took place about 15 minutes after he was killed.
And it was positive. It was. It's this is a confirmation, sir.
It was also reported his wife had wanted his wife and detonated.
So there are two women. There were two women, both wives, both wearing vests. They had not detonated. But the fact that they were dead and they had vests on made it very difficult for our men because they had vests on. And it made it very difficult for our men because you'd never know what's going to happen. They're lying there dead.
They never detonated, but they were dead on the success of possible successors. Have you been briefed on who you are?
We know these successes and we've already got them in our sights and we'll tell you that right now. But we know the successes. Hamza bin Laden was a big thing. But this is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was very big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center. This is a man who built a hole, as he would like to call it, a country, a caliphate, and was trying to do it again.
And I had not heard too much about his health. I've heard stories about he may not have been in good health, but he died. He died in a ruthless, vicious manner that I can tell.
Yes. We have people that were taken. We have many of the people died on the site. But we have people that were taken. Yes. And the children we are we left them under care of somebody that we understand.
Or do you believe 11 children? Eleven children. How many adults?
I'd rather not say I'd leave that to the generals.
But a small group more dead than alive, involved with special operations teams were involved.
Many of them at the top level and people that were truly incredible at their craft.
I've never seen anything like it.
Your first partnership's goals. Were there any other forces involved or is this only American troops and only American forces with you?
Only American forces. But we were given great cooperation. Did the U.S. rely?
We told the Russians were coming in because we had to go over them and they were curious. But but we said we're coming for our said, one way you look, we're coming.
But they were very cooperative. They really were good.
And we did say it would be a mission that they'd like to because, you know, again, they hate ISIS as much as we did for Intel purposes 30.
Was there any foreign intel that proved useful along the way in this effort?
So we had our own intel. We got very little help. We didn't need very much help. We have some incredible people when we use our intelligence correctly. What we can do is incredible when we waste our time with intelligence that hurts our country because we had poor leadership at the top. That's not good. But I've gotten to know many of the Intel people, and I will say that they are spectacular. Now, they're not going to want to talk about it.
They want to keep it quiet. The last thing they want, because these are these are great patriots, but the people that I've been dealing with are incredible people. And it's really a. Deserving name intelligence, I've dealt with some people that aren't very intelligent having to do with Intel. But this is the top people. And it was incredible. It was flawless and it was very complicated. But so I do appreciate Russia, Turkey, Iraq and Syria to an extent, because, you know, we're flying into Syria.
A lot of Syrian people with lots of guns. So we had a good cover for probably the most dangerous part.
It would not sound too. You know, when you fly and it doesn't sound like that would be the most dangerous when you're going into shooting this and all of the things that happened once they broke into that pretty powerful compound. That was a very strong compound. And as I said, had tunnels. But the most dangerous part. We had great cooperation with. Yes.
Men. Speaker Pelosi ahead of time. No, I didn't. I didn't do that. I wanted to make sure this kept secret. I don't want to have men lost and women.
I don't want to have people lost and fighting the special forces teams to the White House.
They'll be invited. I don't know if they'll want to have their faces shown, to be honest with you. You know, they want to. They re credible for the country. They're not looking for public relations, but they love doing what they're doing. I've seen it. First lady was out there recently looking at what they do. She came back. She said, wow, I've never seen anything like that. The training, you know, all of the training and and the power of the people, the men and women, the strength, the physical strength, the mental strength.
These are incredible people. These are very unique individuals with.
That on your video on the Web radio, Baghdad.
I don't want to talk about it, but he was screaming, crying and whimpering and he was scared out of his mind. And think of James Foley. Think of Kayla. Think of the things he did to Kayla. What he did to Foley and so many others. And for those people that say, oh, isn't this a little violent? Think of how many times have you seen men? I think in all cases, men for the most part.
But in terms of this were you see the orange suits and you see the ocean and they beheaded or how many of you got to see because it was out there.
The Jordanian pilot whose plane went down, they captured him. They put him in a cage and they set him on fire.
And the king of Jordan actually attacked very powerfully when that happened.
They've never seen anything like that. But he set him on fire. This was al Baghdadi. And you should never, ever hopefully see a thing like that again. Now there'll be new people emerge. But this was the worst of of this particular world. This was the worst probably in certain ways, the smartest.
He was also a coward and he didn't want to die. But think of it, everybody was out and we were able to search him down and find him in the tunnel. We knew the tunnel existed and that's where he was. And you take a lot of pull out. You think this will change this?
Well, I don't have a Syria plan. I just don't want to guard Turkey and Syria for the rest of our lives. I've been I don't want to do it. It's very expensive. It's very dangerous. They've been fighting for centuries. I don't want to have my people. Two thousand men and women or a thousand or twenty eight. We had twenty eight guards. I said, I don't want to there anyway. I don't want them now.
I will secure the oil that happens to be in a certain part. But that's tremendous money involved. I would love to you know, the oil and I mean, I'll tell you a story in Iraq. So they spent. President Bush went in. I strongly disagreed with it, even though it wasn't my expertise at the time. But I had a I have a very good instinct about things. They went in and I said, that's a tremendous mistake.
And there were no weapons of mass destruction. It turned out I was right. I was right for other reasons. But it turned out on top of everything else, they had no weapons of mass destruction because that would be a reason to go in.
But they had none. But I heard recently that Iraq over the last number of years. Actually discriminates against America in oil leases. In other words, some oil companies from other countries. After all, we've done have an advantage in Iraq for the oil. I said keep the oil. Give them what they need. Keep the oil. Why should we? We go when we lose thousands of lives, spent trillions of dollars, and our companies don't even have an advantage in getting the oil leases.
So I just tell you that story. That's what I heard.
You talk a little bit that. And I say here, the counter-terrorism director in the hallway was there wrongly. Yes, sir. Everybody, Gina was great. Everybody played a role.
Joe was great. Gina was great. They were all good. Just to follow up your pull out that generate the intelligence that led to this operation.
We were looking at this. Look, as I said, Steve, I've been looking at this. I'm here almost three years. I've been looking at this for three years. They'd come in, sir. We have somebody under. I said I don't want somebody. I want al-Baghdadi. That's the one. I want to say what? We have somebody else. I said, that's great. Fine. Take him out. But I want to al-Baghdadi. That's who I want.
I don't want other people. And then I also wanted Hamza bin Laden because he's a young man.
Round 30 looks just like his father. Tall, very handsome. And he was talking bad things just like his father. You know, if you read my book, there is a book just before the World Trade Center came down. And I don't get any credit for this, but that's OK. I never do. But here we are.
I wrote a book, a really very successful book. And in that book, about a year before the World Trade Center was blown up, I said there is somebody named Osama bin Laden. You better kill him or take him out. Something to that effect. He's big trouble now. I wasn't in government. I was building buildings and doing what I did. But I've always found it fascinating. But I saw this man, tall, handsome, very charismatic, making horrible statements about wanting to destroy our country.
And I'm writing a book. I think I wrote 12 books. All did very well. And I'm writing a book. World Trade Center had not come down. I think it was about if your check was about a year before the World Trade Center came down. And I'm saying to people, take out Osama bin Laden that nobody ever heard of. Nobody ever heard of. I mean, al-Baghdadi, everybody here is because he's built this monster for a long time.
But nobody ever heard of Osama bin Laden until really the World Trade Center. But about a year, you have to check it a year, year and a half before the World Trade Center. The book came out. I was talking about Osama bin Laden. I said, you have to kill him. You have to take him out. Nobody listen to me.
And to this day, I get people coming up to me.
They said, you know what? One of the most amazing things I've ever seen about you is that you predicted that Osama bin Laden had to be killed before he knocked down the World Trade Center. It's true that most of the press doesn't want to write that, but, you know. But it is true. If you go back look at my book, I think it was the America we deserve. I made a prediction and I let's put it this way, if they would have listened to me, a lot of things would have been different about some of the difficult decisions you had along the way here in this operation.
Anything that weighed on you or that you had to watch his death?
I mean, you know, I'm sending a large number of brilliant fighters. These are the greatest fighters in the world.
I'd rather let the generals tell you. But a large number, we had eight helicopters and we had many other ships and planes.
It was a large group. And again, this is a large group heading over very, very strong firepower, areas where that was decision one.
Will they make it?
And they made it. But they took fire. But they made it. They didn't take we don't believe, again, it was nation fire. We believe it was individual group fire or gang fire, as they call it.
So they made it. So that was a big relief. Then they went in, they blasted their way in. You've heard they blasted their way in so quickly. It was incredible because these building was quite powerful, strong.
They blasted their way in and then all hell broke loose. It's incredible that nobody was killed or hurt. We had nobody even hurt. And that's why the dog was so great. We actually had a robot to go in the tunnel, but we didn't get it because we were tracking him very closely.
But we had a robot just in case because we were afraid he had a suicide vest on. And if you get close to him and he blows it up, you're going to die. You're going to die.
Had a very powerful suicide vest decisions in the moment while troops were on the ground.
They had just incredible. We were getting full reports on literally a minute by minute basis. Sir, we just broke in, sir. The wall is down, sir. You know, we've captured sir, two people are coming out right now. Hands up. Fighters, then the eleven children out. Numerous people were dead within the building that they killed. Then it turned out they gave us a report, sir.
There's only one person in the building. We are sure he's in the tunnel trying to escape. But it's a dead end tunnel. And it was brutal, but it was over. And as I said, when he blew himself up, the tunnel collapsed on top of him, on top of everything. And his children, I mean, so he let his three children to death.
So, you know, that's when the robot followed him into that.
Why no robot was set to. But we didn't hook it up because we were, too. They were moving too fast. We were moving fast. We weren't 100 percent sure about the tunnel being dead ended. It's possible that there could have been an escape hatch somewhere along that we didn't know about.
So we moved very, very quickly. I mean, these people, they were moving. They were chasing them. They were chasing. But again, because the suicide vest, you can't get too close. Again, one of the reasons with the wives is if they have a suicide vest, you know, you have to be very, very careful.
These vests are brutal, brutal. And they go for a long distance. Yes, please.
Have you spoken or will you speak to the families like the Foley family? I'm calling the families now. It will be a pleasure to do that. The Foley family, who I know will be calling Kayla's family. What what he did to her was incredible.
It's a well-known story. And I'm not going to say it, but you know that he kept her in captivity for a long period of time. He kept her in his captivity, his personal captivity. She was a beautiful woman, beautiful young woman, helped people. She was there to help people. And he saw her and he thought she was beautiful. And he brought her into captivity for a long period of time. And then he killed her. He was an animal and he was a gutless animal.
Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. Very great day for our country.