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Editor's note: The following column is excerpted from the new book “Drone Warrior” by Brett Velicovich and Christopher S. Stewart.
The U.S. military had the leader of ISIS in its crosshairs years before he became the most wanted terrorist in the world — but the bureaucratic suits in Washington let him get away.
In 2011, a secretive U.S. special operations task force was orbiting a drone above a house in Baghdad, Iraq where they had new intelligence that the notorious terrorist leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had bunkered down for a meeting with his top ISIS lieutenants. A call went out from our headquarters and then back to higher-ups in the States: we’ve got him, can we take him out?