Military officials have not officially released the dog’s name, saying it was classified to protect his identity.The Belgian Malinois was injured when al-Baghdadi detonated a suicide vest that killed himself and three of his children after he was cornered by US-led forces inside dead-end underground tunnel overnight on Saturday.General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military dog ‘performed a tremendous service’ and is now recovering.
The dog has since returned to duty at an undisclosed location, Gen Milley said. Mr Trump first spoke of the dog’s injuries and heroic efforts when he revealed details of the raid at a press conference on Sunday.
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He said: ‘Our “K-9” as they call it – I call it a dog – a beautiful dog, a talented dog, was injured and brought back.’In 2011, a Belgian Malinois named Cairo was used in the operation to capture and kill Osama bin Laden. The Malinois breed is similar to German shepherds but smaller and favoured by the US military to guide and protect troops, search out enemy forces and look for explosives.
The breed is prized for its intelligence and ability to be aggressive on command.Ron Aiello, president of the United States War Dogs Association said: ‘That’s the kind of dog you want to lead a patrol like this.
‘They are the first line of defence. They go out front.’President Trump gave a dramatic account of the raid, variously saying there was one dog and multiple canines involved in the raid.
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He said that as US troops and their dogs closed in, the militant went ‘whimpering and crying and screaming all the way’ to his death.
He said: ‘He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down.’On Monday, security services said they were braced for revenge attacks after the killing of the Islamic State leader.Richard Kemp, former head of international terrorism intelligence at the Cabinet Office, warned that there could be a ‘violent retaliation’ for his death.
Comparing it to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death in 2011, he said: ‘When bin Laden was killed, al-Baghdadi unleashed violent retaliation. ‘Security services will now be braced for attempts to avenge his death’ Other countries have also placed their security services on red alert, with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner issuing a letter to police in France, Reuters reports. The letter warns officers to look out for the ‘possible intensification of jihadist propaganda following [al-Baghdadi’s] death, which could possibly call for acts of vengeance’.
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It adds the potential for terrorist attacks requires officers to operate with ‘extreme vigilance, notable during public events in your departments in coming days’.European leaders have meanwhile emphasised that Isis has not been entirely vanquished after al-Baghdadi’s death, despite Mr Trump’s enthusiastic statement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said over the weekend: ‘The battle against the evil of Daesh is not yet over.’