Americans Can Be Placed on Secret Terrorist Assassination List
1 year ago
al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, U.S.-born, was on this list
What Politico is calling "The real 'death' panel" is a secret group of senior National Security Council officials who can place Americans on a confidential kill-or-capture list for their participation with terrorist groups like al-Qaeda. Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born propagandist and preacher for al-Qaeda, had the fatal misfortune of being placed on that list and was killed in drone attacks late last month. Obama wasn't directly responsible for approving Awlaki's murder, but he's been criticized by both the left and the right, accused of denying the American citizen of his constitutional rights. National Security Council officials argue, though, that his killing was sanctioned under international law, and the terms of engagement in war. "Let me underscore, Awlaki is no mere messenger but someone integrally involved in lethal terrorist activities," said Daniel Benjamin, the State Department's top counterterrorism official last spring. Awlaki is tied to the Nigerian "underwear bomber" plotter Umar Farouk Amdulmutallab, accused of trying to blow up a plane headed to Detroit. U.S. security officials also tie him to a British Airways employee who's in prison for plotting to blow up a U.S.-bound plane.