FORMER US president Donald Trump has caused astonishment and no little fury across America and the world with his claim that Osama bin Laden had just “one hit” and was not as bad as other enemies of the US.

Bin Laden was a founder of al-Qaeda and the acknowledged instigator of multiple mass-casualty terror attacks across the globe.

Speaking to conservative radio show host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, Trump said: “We took out the founder of ISIS, [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi, and then of course [Iranian military leader Qasem] Soleimani.

“Now just so you understand, Soleimani is bigger by many, many times than Osama bin Laden. The founder of ISIS is bigger by many, many times — al-Baghdadi — than Osama bin Laden.

“Osama bin Laden had one hit, and it was a bad one, in New York City, the World Trade Center. But these other two guys were monsters. They were monsters.

“And I kept saying for years, why aren’t they getting them? For years, I said it. I got them. The press doesn’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it because they don’t want to talk about it.”

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The timing and tone of his remarks could not have been more inflammatory, coming as they did just over two weeks before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which killed nearly 3000 Americans.

That bin Laden had just “one hit” is demonstrably untrue. He masterminded several other deadly plots, including attacks on US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the murderous attack on the USS Cole warship that killed 17 US sailors in 2000.

Trump added that he “got 100%” of ISIS, saying: “ISIS is tougher than the Taliban, and nastier than the Taliban. And ISIS was watching, and then they were, they didn’t exist anymore.”

In response to Trump, the Washington Post quoted Thomas Warrick, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a non-partisan international affairs think tank, saying: “Virtually every counter-terrorism expert in the Western world would consider Osama bin Laden one of the most dangerous terrorists, whose actions went far beyond 9/11.”

The Obama administration found and killed bin Laden in 2011. Warrick, who served as deputy assistant secretary for counter-terrorism policy at the Department of Homeland Security under both Barack Obama and Trump, said Trump’s comments were “completely incorrect”.

Trump has also lambasted his successor Joe Biden, even in remarks he made following the death of US service personnel at Kabul airport.

He said: “This tragedy should never have taken place, it should never have happened, and it would not have happened if I were your president.

“Over the past few weeks I know that many Americans have felt profound sorrow and even pain watching the events taking place in Afghanistan, and perhaps none more so than the veterans of that 20-year war. Many of them answered the call proudly and without hesitation after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

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“Every American who served in Afghanistan has made tremendous sacrifices for our country. On behalf of your fellow citizens, I want you to know that those sacrifices were not made in vain.”

Perhaps Trump took to the airwaves to deflect attention from the news that he and associates are being sued by seven officers of the Capitol Police, the force which bore the brunt of the violence and abuse during the insurrection in Washington on January 6.

The suit, which was filed on behalf of the officers by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, states that Trump “worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power”.