Trump Shares Photo of ‘Wonderful’ Dog in ISIS Raid, but Not a Name

WASHINGTON — President Trump shared a photograph on Monday of the “wonderful” dog who participated in the raid against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State leader, but said the dog’s name remained classified.

The president tweeted out the photograph after Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had given an update on the dog, whose role in the raid was first disclosed by Mr. Trump on Sunday.

“We will not release the name of the dog right now,” General Milley told reporters at a news conference giving new details on the raid. “But the dog is still in theater, returned to duty. So we will not release just yet photos or names of dogs or anything else.”

But by late afternoon, Mr. Trump had apparently received special dispensation to post an image of the dog, whose name Newsweek reported is Conan. In the undated image, the dog was wearing a specially made vest or harness.

“We have declassified a picture of the wonderful dog (name not declassified) that did such a GREAT JOB in capturing and killing the Leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi!” Mr. Trump wrote.

There were reasons for keeping the dog’s name classified. Mark Hertling, a retired three-star general, wrote on Twitter that revealing the name could inadvertently reveal the handler’s name and the military unit used in the raid.

The president said on Sunday that the dog was one of several who chased Mr. al-Baghdadi down a tunnel and was injured when the ISIS leader detonated a suicide vest. But General Milley did not mention any injury to the dog.

The White House and the Pentagon did not respond to inquiries about the dog’s breed. But experts said it is a Belgian Malinois, which was the same breed used to aid Navy SEALs in the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in 2011.

“They have a great deal of courage and willingness to work,” Judy Hagen, the president of the American Belgian Malinois Club, said in an interview. “They’re very intelligent and they’re easily trained.”

Belgians, she said, can cost anywhere from $1,500 for a show dog puppy to over $30,000 for a fully-trained protection dog.

The identity of the dog has become the subject of rampant curiosity since Mr. Trump used glowing terms to describe the animal’s heroics on Sunday. In the same news conference, Mr. Trump used disparaging terms to describe Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death — “He died like a dog” — even as he praised the animal for pursuing the ISIS leader.

“Our ‘K-9,’ as they call it,” Mr. Trump said, “I call it a dog. A beautiful dog — a talented dog — was injured and brought back.”

Mr. Trump’s apparently complex relationship with dogs has become a matter of curiosity in recent years. Both critics and supporters have noted that he is among the few modern presidents who have not had a dog in the White House.

Earlier this year during a rally in El Paso, Mr. Trump mused that his associates had encouraged him to get a dog because it would be a political asset.

“You do love your dogs, don’t you?” Mr. Trump told the crowd. “I wouldn’t mind having one, honestly, but I don’t have any time. How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?”

But on Monday, a senior official said that the president wanted to meet the dog, adding that the animal was invited to visit the White House.

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