The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Washington (AFP) – The U.S. government is debating whether to kill an American citizen abroad who is allegedly part of the Al-Qaeda network and plotting attacks against the United States, media reported Monday.

President Barack Obama’s administration is weighing the possible drone strike against the American who is in a country that refuses to allow U.S. military action on its soil, CNN television reported, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

The identity of the American Al-Qaeda militant and his location remain secret, as officials fear revealing that information would lead him to go deeper into hiding and derail a potential drone missile strike.

The news was first reported by the Associated Press.

U.S. intelligence agencies and the Pentagon declined to comment on the reports when contacted by AFP.

Under new guidelines handed down by Obama last May, a decision to use lethal force against an American overseas has to be based on “a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons” and only if capturing the terror suspect is “not feasible.”

According to the media reports, two officials said the American was an Al-Qaeda operative who has been directly responsible for attacks against U.S. citizens abroad and who continues to plan attacks using homemade bombs.

The Justice Department reportedly was still working to build a case against the American Al-Qaeda member, which would be required for any decision to go ahead.

The new rules for drone strikes came in for criticism last week from the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers of Michigan, who accused the administration last week of undermining counter-terrorism efforts.

“Individuals who would have been previously removed from the battlefield by U.S. counterterrorism operations for attacking or plotting to attack against U.S. interests remain free because of self-imposed red tape,” Rogers said.

Obama approved new guidelines after coming under fire for approving the targeting of another U.S. citizen, radical Yemeni-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.

Three other Americans have been killed in counter-terror strikes but were not intentionally targeted, U.S. officials admitted last year.

Human rights groups say the drone strike program remains shrouded in secrecy and lacks clear legal limits.

“The public and most members of Congress are still completely in the dark about where the U.S. claims authority to strike, the legal rules, and the identity of those already killed,” Amnesty International USA’s Naureen Shah said in a statement.

U.S. officials defend the program as carefully regulated and say the strikes have weakened Al-Qaeda’s core leadership while reducing the threat of an attack on U.S. soil.

AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.

North Carolina state representative Mike Clampitt swore an oath to uphold the Constitution after his election in 2016 and again in 2020. But there's another pledge that Clampitt said he's upholding: to the Oath Keepers, a right-wing militant organization.

Keep reading... Show less

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

When Donald Trump rolled out his brand new social media platform for deplorables, TRUTH Media, the clock started ticking on how soon it would crash and burn like Parler, Gab and other deplorable alternatives to Twitter.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}