Tag: Anwar al-Awlaki

US Acknowledges Killing 4 US Citizens in Drone Strikes

In a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Congress today, for the first time, the U.S. has admitted killing 4 American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

The letter is here. It says only Anwar al-Awlaki was targeted for killing. Samir Kahn was killed in the same strike. al-Awlaki's son was killed in another drone strike in Yemen, and Jude Mohammed was killed in drone strike in Pakistan. [More...]

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Killing Americans on Secret Presidential Order is Not OK in a Democracy

Law Professor David Cole in the New York Times Review of Books writes about the secret memo of authorizing the extra-judicial, targeted killing of American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and drone attacks. Shorter version: We need established defined rules and transparency.

In a democracy the state’s power to take the lives of its own citizens, and indeed of any human being, must be subject to democratic deliberation and debate. War of course necessarily involves killing, but it is essential that the state’s power to kill be clearly defined and stated in public—particularly when the definition of the enemy and the lines demarcating war and peace are as murky as they are in the current conflict.

Secret memos, with or without leaked accounts to The New York Times, are no substitute for legal or democratic process. As long as the Obama administration insists on the power to kill the people it was elected to represent—and to do so in secret, on the basis of secret legal memos—can we really claim that we live in a democracy ruled by law?


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AQAP Confirms al-Awlaki's Death and Issues New Threats

Al Qaida Arabian Peninsula released a statement today confirming the killing of cleric Anwar al-Awlawi and two others. The media quotes a sentence or two, but you don't get the real flavor unless you read the whole thing. An English translation is here. A snippet:

“The Americans killed the scholar Shaykh Anwar al-Awlaqi and Samir Khan, but they did not prove any crime they committed and they never presented any proof against them from their laws of unjust freedom. So, where is the freedom, justice, human rights and respect of freedoms they boast of? Did America become so suffocated that it contradicted—and everyday it contradicts—these principles it claims it established its country on?”

“America has failed as it has not stuck to its principles, and the Shaykh—who lived his doctrine and died for its cause—won. And like that, everyday America kills humans unjustly and aggressively. Its history is black and long and has no limit, and it lies openly that it protects human rights, justice and freedom.”


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Al-Awlaki is Dead: AQAP is Not

The U.S. is warning travelers world-wide of potential retaliation threats for the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

A Yemen security official said today that reports that bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri was one of those killed with al-Awlaki and Samir Khan is incorrect. As for how they found al-Awlaki, the official said "they had located Awlaki with intelligence gathered from a captured al Qaeda operative." Anyone wonder what tactics were used to get that information?

Al-Awlaki's death is not going to end AQAP or be the end of al Qaeda. For one thing, AQAP's top leaders are still alive, including Nasser al-Wahayshi, deputy leader Said al-Shihri, and military commander Qasim al-Raymi. AQAP will replace its leaders who are killed much faster than we can kill them.

Update 10/2: The US media is finally correcting its reports from yesterday saying bombmaker Ibrahim al-Asiri was killed in the attack on al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. If I could find the Yemeni officials' statements yesterday saying al-Asiri was not killed, why couldn't they? Answer: They probably did see the reports, but chose to run with the unsupported claim by unnamed US officials that he was killed. More bang for the buck I guess -- it made for a juicier story.

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Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen

Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen on the U.S. "capture or kill" list was killed by a drone today in Yemen.

A CIA drone finally got him, but that was only the tip of a much larger military operation. Missiles fired by the drone took out Awlaki's vehicle. That made the American-born cleric the first U.S citizen to be targeted and killed as a terrorist. A senior defense official said, "a very bad man just had a very bad day."

...Harrier jets flying from an amphibious carrier off the coast were ready to take a shot if the CIA drone missed. There was even an option for sending in Marine Ospreys with Special Operations Forces to collect any intelligence left after the strike, but that was never used.

President Obama proudly commented on the killing. [More...]

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U.S. Drone Attack Targeted and Missed al-Awlaki

The U.S. seems to be getting carried away with its success in taking out Osama bin Laden.

Today it launched its first unmanned drone attack in Yemen, aiming for cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. It missed, but killed some other people, who it hopes are affiliated with AQAP.

Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, is on the U.S. kill or capture list. In charge of the Yemen mission: the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and the CIA.

Does al-Awlaki do anything besides write encouraging e-mails? Britain seems to think his e-mails make him the likely successor to bin Laden.

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Yemen Judge Orders Al Awlaki Arrest "By Any Means"

Update: Yemen has deployed hundreds more troops to capture al-Alwaki.

Wanted, dead or alive: A Judge in Yemen has ordered Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and a relative arrested "by any means" to face terrorism charges in connection with the killing of French engineer Jacques Spagnolo last month. The order was issued as hearings got underway in the trial of a third man accused of the murder. [More...]

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Yemen Won't Hunt Down Anwar Al-Awlaki

Yemen's Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi says Yemen will not hunt down American born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, believed to be hiding in Yemen.

The U.S. put al-Awlaki on its "kill or capture" list but Yemen says it has not been provided evidence he is a terrorist and that he is not a terrorist. Background here and here. [More...]

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U.S. Adds Cleric al-Awlaki to "Capture or Kill" List

The United States has added Muslim Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen born in the U.S. but now believed to be in Yemen, to its "capture or kill" list.

Previously believed to be an inspirational rather than operational leader of al-Qaida Arabian Peninsula, a review of his status by the National Security Council determined he was "a proven threat."

There were signs this was coming back in February.

And the Yemen Observer is reporting AQAP leadership has left Yemen and moved to Somalia. Did al-Awlaki go with them?

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Has the U.S. Targeted Cleric al-Awlaki for Assassination?

First we had the congressional hearing at which Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair gave details of information Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (aka Private Underpants) has given to the FBI during debriefing sessions. He also explained that it's acceptable policy for the U.S. to target Americans overseas for assassination.

Now we have more law enforcement leaks about Abdulmutallab's debriefings: He's ratted out cleric (and American citizen) Anwar al-Awlaki. Not that al-Awlaki knew about his Christmas Day attack, just that he was his "teacher" and they had met and communicated, something al-Awlaki also acknowledges. [More...]

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