Hero dog in al-Baghdadi chase finally named

October 29, 2019 • 9:00 am

Up to now, the Belgian Malinois hero dog who chased Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi down the tunnel has not been named. In fact, on the CBS News I just watched in my cabin, the dog was still anonymous. I was concerned about its fate as it was apparently wounded when al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest (taking three of his kids with him), but the dog is going to be okay.

And, mirabile dictu, the dog has been named, and her name is CONAN. In fact, Conan has her own Wikipedia entry already. Here’s a bit of it, along with her picture.

President Donald Trump posted the declassified picture of Conan on Twitter and called her a “wonderful dog” in the tweet. The name was classified at the time, but it was revealed as Conan to Newsweek.

Meet Conan:

These dogs are apparently very good at recognizing scents, and the Wikipedia article on the breed says that one named Cairo took part in the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. They’re also used to guard the White House and track down poachers in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

The tweet below gives some amazing facts about these military dogs, including the fact that they can parachute into battle sites wearing goggles, infrared cameras, and waterproof gear.

And here’s one of the hero dogs parachuting from a plane. Imagine the training it takes to get a dog to do that—and tolerate it!


The ABC News video above says that Conan will get an invitation to the White House, as she should, but Trump will only use that to tout his own wonderfulness. If I were the President, I would feed Conan a lovely filet of beef rather than the McDonald’s hamburgers that guests often get in the White House.

103 thoughts on “Hero dog in al-Baghdadi chase finally named

  1. I hope the lovely Conan turns down the WH invite. It will be all about the Orange One, who most likely doesn’t even like dogs. Fwiw, my Meximutt, Lucy, is apparently part Malinois.

    1. I doubt Conan has any more interest in a trip to the White House to scarf down cold Big Macs than Steph Curry did.

    2. How could Conan take the Orange Wun seriously, one minute someone, namely al baghdadi, is dying like a dog, a coward, next, a dog no less, is a hero’s, WTF…

    3. When Conan refuses the WH invite, the Trumpkins will point out that it’s a Belgian Malinois and not American and probably a communist.

    4. I recently read a story that Mike Pence was bitten by a horse. So maybe Conan should go to the White House, and…

  2. The good guys got Baghdadi in spite of Trump so it was a very good job by the Kurds and the U.S military. The only reason the dog info was declassified was because Trump runs his mouth declassifying many things.

    1. AFAIK, we still have no confirmation that al-Baghdadi met his end like a crying, whimpering little sissy-boy, as the Donald claimed — not that I’m suggesting he would ever embellish or anything.

      1. What occurred to me is how they could distinguish Daddy al-Baghdadi from his three children. Considering that possibility dramatically changes my view of this event.

      2. Maybe but we have the great Donald Trump confirming it on TeeVee. He said they recovered pieces of the guy and blood to confirm. Realizing that nearly all of what Trump said for 50 minutes was stuff he should not be saying (classified) but hell, he works for Putin anyway.

        By the way, I think the guy testifying today, Lt. Col. Vindman is going to be a killer to Trump.

          1. That hasn’t stopped Republicans from questioning his loyalty. I just read in the news that some are saying he’s a Ukrainian spy. There is no bottom anymore. Christonstick, Trumpism has ruined that party, which leave us with only the Democrats to look to for sane governance. Is it any wonder that so many despair for our country?

            1. Yeah, that was the line put out last night by Laura Ingraham during her White Power Hour on Fox News, with an assist from guest John Yoo (of torture memo infamy).

              I understand that Trump has picked on this theme on his tweeter machine this morning, but I haven’t the stomach for going to check before lunch.

          2. But as usual, the republicans and Trump have been going after him. Calling him a never trumper and a spy. Imagine that, a 20 year officer in the Army and actually working in the White house for the National Security Council. I think pathetic desperation by the other side.

            1. Yeah, but he was born in Ukraine (when it was still part of the USSR), and didn’t come to the US of A until he was three years old. So regardless of his patriotic devotion to US national service, he’ll never be completely “American” in their eyes.

              Fuckin’ jerks.

            2. This is the kind of stuff that has become normalised – to an extent. But it really is despicable. A purple heart veteran who’s fought for America, injured by an IED, grown up here since he was 3, embodies every value that America should stand for…

              …And the Trump boosters have their bellies so low in the dirt they call him a spy.

              1. It’s the old “dual loyalty” smear against a Ukrainian Jew who came here at the age of three and has done nothing but serve this nation in the most honorable and patriotic manner possible. (Hell, as a kid living in Brooklyn, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman even appeared in a Ken Burn’s documentary about the Statue of Liberty.)

                Yet Vindman’s being accused of disloyalty for putting the United States’ national-security interests ahead of Donald Trump’s narrow personal political interests. L’etat c’est moi, is the way Donald Trump looks at things.

      3. None of his account should be believed. If he has said anything true it is purely by mistake. He has proven every day of his presidency that we cannot trust a word that comes out of his mouth – about this or anything else.

        Frankly, I don’t give a damn what happened, just glad the bastard is dead. Maybe some of the SEAL team members will write a book.

            1. I think delta comes from ranger elements as the rangers can be regiment size airborne infantry. It would be natural that these small special forces come from that.

            2. They’ve all gone through Ranger school, but they’re an elite unit with even more specialized training — so elite, the Army doesn’t officially acknowledge their existence.

              1. I read Craig Mullaney’s account of Ranger school – it made me very comfortable to be sitting in my chair.

              2. There’s quite a bit about the Rangers and Delta Force and the relation between the two in Mark Bowden’s book Black Hawk Down.

      4. I find it abit difficult to believe al baghdadi would behave in this way in front of his children before he blew them all apart, it was more likely to be his children that were whimpering. He, to my mind would have had steely resolve to get the job done, as he had obviously planned to take himself and his children out.

        1. That’s what I thought

          “Children” has a connotation of youth – that is, not adults. I’m not sure what their ages were.

          1. … my problem is that his children could easily be considered to be abused, and coerced into that position. It wasn’t their fault. For a president to relish they were in such a position is especially sick.

  3. I hope she craps under his desk in the oval office .
    A bit off topic ,but ,came home today to find
    tail feathers in the hallway and a Great Tit flying around the bathroom .

    So i have got to take it to the wildlife rescue center in Much Wenlock .

        1. Yes! Ken, do you remember the name of the Woody Allen movie with the giant boob chasing him across the countryside?

          1. ‘Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex…’ I think…

            Although instinctively I thought of a scene in Sleeper that I love too, where his futuristic onesie inflates to preposterous size and he bounces around squashing his pursuers.

            I wish he wasn’t as much of a creep as he seems to be. He really is one of my comic heroes.

            1. You’re probably right, Saul, unless it was Sleeper. Agree with you on Woody Allen. Love his humor, though. Which one had the guys trying to parallel park the guy on the cross?

              1. I don’t remember that one – just spitballing but maybe Love And Death? Unless the scene had cars in obviously.

                I watched a whole bunch of his stuff with my dad when I was little. Dad educated me on all the great films of the seventies and eighties.

                But Sleeper was the one we most reliably fell about laughing at. Probably my favourite comedy of all time, alongside Withnail and I. There’s a scene where he’s just come out of his deep sleep and he’s in a electric wheelchair that made me and my dad lose our breath laughing. Nice memories from a difficult relationship are more keenly felt.

              2. No, it wasn’t Love and Death, which is one of my favorites. Possibly Bananas, which also has Howard Cossell narrating a coup like a football game.

              3. It’s been 25 years since I saw Bananas – I might track it down and rewatch it.

                I have his Complete Prose by my bedside and it’s one of my most heavily thumbed and mangled books. Almost everything in its second half(once he stopped trying to ape Groucho Marx) is genius.

                You have to separate the man from the art, he’s just too good.

            2. Based loosely on the best-selling sex manual of the same name — very, very loosely. 🙂

              Don’t think there’s been another famous movie based so loosely on its source material, unless maybe it’s Dr. Strangelove (based on the very serious Cold War novel Red Alert, but adapted into a darkly comedic screenplay by Kubrick and Terry Southern).

      1. Does a bear ,,, .Yes ,i Think it was Sooty ,what am i saying ,i know it was Sooty .
        Great Tits are not as small as Blue Tits .

        1. A joke about great tits .
          Two country boys are down in That London for the day and they are wandering around Soho .
          They see a sign .
          “Come Inside To Feel The Biggest Tits In The World ”
          They looked at each other and went inside ,they were a bit shocked to find the entrance fee was £100 ,but they paid it and followed the signs to said tits ,they went up stairs down stairs round bends ,and they kept seeing the same sign .
          After about 30 minutes they came to a door with another sign over it .”Through here you will feel the biggest tits in the world .

          They went through the door and found themselves back on the street .
          One said to the other ,”Well ,i don’t know how you are feeling “

  4. There’s a good reason the names of military dog are classified. You don’t want Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to say “Good boy, Conan!”

      1. I think that’s deliberate- in the case the dog’s sex is figured out, they can’t half the number of names to try out.

  5. I spoke with an old friend yesterday and the story of this pooch came up. He served in Iraq and his unit was attached to another that used dogs. He said they were valuable “force multipliers” that gave them an enormous advantage to troops fighting in an urban setting. He had nothing but praise for them, though he did say that though the allied troops looked on the dogs as fellow soldiers, most of the dogs given to the Iraqis were badly mistreated. There were hundreds left behind by the US and almost all of them died from neglect. Literally starved or given no medical treatment. I understand that dogs are not valued in Middle Eastern society (in fact they are often hated) but that was a treacherous thing to do to them…by US. We should never have left given them to the Iraqis.

    1. A buddy of mine’s dad fought in the Battle of the Bulge during WW2. When we were kids, he’d tell us stories about the army dogs he was assigned to take care of there.

      1. There is a story about a bear who belonged to a Polish unit attached to the British army at Monte Cassino. The bear’s name was Wojtek, and he became a bit of a celebrity after promotion to the rank of corporal. After the war, he retired to live the rest of his days in the Edinburgh zoo. It is unknown whether he later provided any unofficial advice to the War Office.

      1. There’s a guy at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. who doesn’t seem any too fond of women or dogs, either. One of ’em, he parades around like it’s in a show at the Westminster Kennel Club. The other would be actual canines.

        AFAIK, he’s never had a pet. I can’t imagine him spending the time or attention or affection it takes to care for one.

        1. It’s hard to picture Trump giving affection to anyone or anything. I don’t think he has one redeeming quality; it’s quite amazing when you think about it.

  6. Almost all of the comments on this article are about Trump, instead of the very good dog or the military K9 program.

    As for the k9 program, the Belgian Malinois are very impressive creatures

    It is like being chased by a terminator.

    I have started making collars and harnesses based closely on designs used with US specops dogs. I gave one to my Dad, and he later reported that he has been told a couple of times that it is the best collar they have ever seen. I don’t get credit for the design, of course. The harness is great in the backcountry and whitewater, because it comfortably carries a GPS tracker and radio transmitters, and it allows me to pull the dog out of the water with one hand if he cannot get back into the boat.

    1. The tightrope walking, especially backwards, is really impressive! My Lucy can jump like this dog, but I have no desire to train her to attack anything.

  7. Releasing the dog’s name was another security blunder by Trump. Given the dog’s name, the handler can be determine. Given the handler, the Delta team can be determined.

    But we’re all glad the dog is in good shape.

          1. The way they would in the scandal rags of the 1950s for the accomplices when a Hollywood celebrity would get busted with pot or on a morals’ rap? 🙂

            1. Wiki-Ken – you disappoint me. I would think you’d get the reference… There was some news story recently where a newspaper blacked out the eyes of the animals in a photo in order to hide their ID. They were cows or something like that. I think it was meant to be serious.

              1. I vaguely recall that photo and thinking at the time that it, too, was a goof on the old scandal rags (like the fictional Hush, Hush that the Danny DeVito character published in Curtis Hanson’s film L.A. Confidential).

                Weren’t the cows on a dory crossing the Irish Sea or somesuch?

              2. @Mike – I know it’s a bit racist to say it but they all look the same to me.

                @Ken – I knew you knew deep down 😉 It was quite funny though. I could’ve sworn it had something to do with Google Earth too.

  8. Belgian shepherds come in four varieties, all from the Brabant area.
    The Groenendaler (from Groenendaal, just south east of Brussels) is longhaired and black,
    The Tervuren herder (Tervuren is just east of Brussels) is longhaired and fawn or mahogany.
    The Laekenaar (from Laken, northern part of Brussels) is rough haired.
    The Mechelaar or Malinois (from Mechelen -French: Malines-, a town about 30 km north of Brussels) is short haired and fawn to mahogany.
    They are slightly smaller than German shepherds, but considered at least as intelligent and trainable.
    Since less popular (it is said) they suffer less inbreeding problems than the German shepherds, with eg. the latter’s weakness in the hind limbs (especially when aging).
    I’m sure some of the human Mechelaars would be saddened by the French designation in English of their ‘Flemish/Brabants’ dog breed.

    1. Still only my second favourite Conan.

      Unless this dog comes up with a Simpsons episode as good as Marge Versus The Monorail, Mr O’Brien will always occupy number one spot.

  9. I’ll believe what happened when the Pentagon releases its official film, and perhaps not then. I still find it strange, or humorous?, that al-Baghdadi had lived for months in a Turkey-controlled area of Syria just a few miles from the border. Is Trump just using the dog for distraction?

      1. I believe there was one cat that the CIA or MI5 or someone trained to listen in on conversations in the Cold War. The idea was that it would be fitted with a radio transmitter and it would wander up to park benches and general public meeting areas and just mill about while Soviet officials chatted about top secret stuff*.

        After years of preparation they fitted it with its very expensive listening device, smuggled it into Russia and released it onto Moscow streets…whereupon it was immediately run over.

        *What they were smoking when they came up with this idea I don’t know.

  10. So that’s the dog responsible for killing the “austere religious scholar?” Has the Washington Post called for the dog’s arrest yet?

    1. Yes– seems insane, but it’s really their ideology. They think he was only radicalised by being in a US jail in Iraq. (Rukmini Callimachi blew that out of the water in the NYT.)

      Such a decent man… “He was a scholar, a leader, a father, a son, a husband, a husband, a husband, a husband…”

      1. This is why it is absolutely vital that prisons be as “squeaky clean” as possible, so that the number of people who would believe such would be minimized. (Not reduced to zero- that would be impossible.)

        However, that said; it is quite likely that one part of the “radicalization” is the US official attitudes, policies and actions more generally.

  11. Trump’s tweet of this dog was his only tweet which I ever ‘liked’.

    If you had told me a week ago I would ‘like’ a Trump tweet I would have thought you were crazy.

Leave a Reply