Washington Post's Obit Headline On ISIS Chief Triggers Outrage, Memes

Al Baghdadi Death: The Post, in an earlier version of an obit notice published shortly after the ISIS chief's death was announced, used this headline: "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State, dies at 48"

Washington Post's Obit Headline On ISIS Chief Triggers Outrage, Memes

Feared ISIS commander Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi has been declared dead by US President Donald Trump

New Delhi:

The Washington Post, one of the most respected publications in the world, has been lacerated on Twitter over the headline it chose for an "Obituary" notice for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State commander, who killed himself on Saturday during a United States military operation in Syria. The obituary was carried on the publication's website.

Confirmation of the death of Baghdadi was delivered by US President Donald Trump at around 6.30 pm IST on Sunday night.

"Last night the United States brought the world's No. 1 terrorist leader to justice," Trump said in a televised announcement from the White House. "He was a sick and depraved man, and now he's gone."

While many have questioned the need for the Washington Post to have published an obituary for one of the world's most wanted terrorists, interestingly the headline for which the paper is being trolled - "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at the helm of Islamic State, dies at 48" - was changed from the original "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State "terrorist-in-chief", dies at 48".

The headline resulted in #WaPoDeathNotice and #WashingtonPost trending in several countries, with a deluge of tweets featuring similar "obits" couched in euphemism for well-known criminals - both real and fictional.

In India Sasmit Patra, a Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Rajya Sabha MP offered the Post an alternate headline - "Most Wanted Terrorist Killed".

Indian Twitter users provided their own unique spin on the #WaPoDeathNotice trend, with several references to legendary Bollywood villain Mogambo, who was played by the late Amrish Puri in the 1987 film "Mr India".

Check out some of the other hilarous #WaPoDeathNotice and #WashingtonPost posts:

Tweets announcing the demise of Marvel Comics character Thanos were popular, with at least one other user drawing on the same meme.

Other tweets referenced Voldemort from the popular Harry Potter series of books and films, and John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated former American President Abraham Lincoln.

The Washington Post has since changed the headline of the obituary, which can be found here, to: "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, extremist leader of Islamic State, dies at 48".

Kristine Coratti Kelly, Vice President (Communications) and General Manager of Washington Post Live, has since tweeted an apology regarding the "al-Baghdadi obituary".

"Regarding our al-Baghdadi obituary, the headline should never have read that way and we changed it quickly," she wrote.

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