Earlier this year the President referred to ISIS as the “JV team” during an interview, but that designation is at odds with the placement of ISIS’ leader near the top of the State Department’s designated terrorist list in 2011.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has numerous aliases including Abu Du’a. In October 2011, months before U.S. troops left Iraq, al-Baghdadi was added to Diplomatic Security’s list of designated terrorists. A reward of up to $10 million was offered for information leading to his capture by the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program.
The $10 million reward placed al-Baghdadi in select company (see image above). Only two other terrorists had comparable rewards offered for their capture at the time: Mullah Omar, former leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan had a $10 million reward, and Ayman al Zawahiri, leader of al Qaeda had a $25 million reward. In effect this made al-Baghdadi the 3rd most wanted terrorist in the world. At the time there were more than 30 other terrorists on the list with lesser rewards offered for their capture.
During an interview with David Remmick which was published in the January 2014 issue of the New Yorker, President Obama referred to ISIS as the “JV team.” “I think the analogy we use around here sometimes, and I
think is accurate, is if a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn’t
make them Kobe Bryant,” the President said.
On several occasions since then the President has claimed he was not speaking specifically about ISIS, but fact checkers agree the context of the question makes that claim false. The Post awarded the President’s dodge 4 Pinocchios. Politifact rated the claim (that he was not referring specifically to ISIS) false.