The remains of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former leader of the ISIS Islamic-terror group, were buried at sea following his decision to commit suicide with a bomb during a U.S. Army Delta Forces raid of his compound in northern Syria.
An unnamed U.S. official confirmed the method of disposing of Baghdadi’s remains on Monday, according to ABC News. The method of burial at sea is one also used following the 2011 raid on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and was reportedly done so as to prevent any burial site on land from potentially becoming a shrine to ISIS or other Islamic extremists.
It is typical for a burial in the ground without a casket in Islamic culture and is meant to be done within five of Islam’s daily prayer periods.
Authorities did not reveal specific details about the burial, such as which U.S. Navy ship carried the remains to sea or in what body of water they were dropped.
The news of a burial at sea comes just days after a Saturday night raid on Baghdadi’s compound in Idlb, Syria.
During the raid, Apache helicopter gunships and other fixed-wing U.S. aircraft fired on the compound from the air while Delta Forces were brought close into the target compound on CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
The attacking special operations force quickly surrounded the compound where they then reportedly offered surrender for Baghdadi and others that remained locked inside.
After the ISIS leader and the other inhabitants of the building refused to surrender, Delta Force operators blew a hole in one of the compound’s walls and stormed the building from another direction, rather than face a potential ambush at the building’s established doors.
In the course of the operation, Baghdadi grabbed three of his young children and attempted to escape through a tunnel. U.S. forces and attack dogs ultimately chased Baghdadi down, but remained at a distance as he was holding his children as a human shield while he wore a suicide bomb.
Delta Force members again offered Baghdadi a chance to surrender, but he instead detonated his suicide bomb, killing himself and his children and injuring one of the U.S. service dogs brought on the mission. Those Delta Forces members reportedly went on to recover Baghdadi’s remains and conduct a DNA test on site, before leaving the compound with his remains and captured ISIS intelligence.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley on Monday told reporters the U.S. had already completed the disposal of his remains and that the process was handled appropriately after additional forensic testing was performed on his remains while at a secure U.S. location.