News / Asia

US Considers Targeting American Terrorism Suspect in Pakistan

US Considers Targeting American Terrorism Suspect in Pakistani
X
February 28, 2014 10:55 PM
The Obama administration is debating whether to approve a deadly drone strike on an American in Pakistan. As VOA's Kent Klein reports, a White House official is reported to have identified the man as being involved in producing explosive devices that have killed U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
US Considers Targeting American Terrorism Suspect in Pakistan
Kent Klein
The Obama administration is debating whether to approve a deadly drone strike on an American in Pakistan. A White House official is reported to have identified the man as being involved in producing explosive devices that have killed U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

This is the first time the U.S. government is discussing killing an American citizen overseas since President Obama imposed new restrictions on drone operations last May.

“America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists. Our preference is always to detain, interrogate and prosecute," he said. "America cannot take strikes wherever we choose. Our actions are bound by consultations with partners and respect for state sovereignty.”

The mountains of northwestern Pakistan are the home of the potential target, a man known as Abdullah al-Shami, according to a senior administration official cited in Friday's New York Times. The official says he is involved in producing and distributing improvised explosive devices used against U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has been carrying out lethal strikes on suspected terrorists for about a decade.  The number of targeted killings has surged since Obama took office, although the number of drone strikes in Pakistan has dropped dramatically in the past two years.

The White House acknowledged last year that four U.S. citizens have been killed in drone strikes since Obama took office in 2009.

The first was radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a CIA drone in Yemen in September, 2011. The strike also killed three other people. The administration has said Awlaki was the only one who was intentionally targeted,

Obama has called for the U.S. military, not the CIA, to launch the strikes. However, Pakistan does not allow open American military operations in its territory.

Christine Fair, an assistant professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, says the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI wants its cooperation with the U.S. drone program kept quiet.

“They benefit from this program," she said. "They want to obfuscate the degree to which they have been complicit. They’re complicit in every possible way, providing targeting information. The Pakistanis have to de-conflict the airspace for drones to operate.”

At the same time, Amnesty International USA’s Naureen Shah says the U.S. program needs more transparency.

“Instead of engaging officially with the public and with Congress about what’s going on, the administration has chosen to leak this information," said Shah. "And that underscores the blanket secrecy that has been part of the problem from day one in the U.S. targeted killings program.”

Under the president's restrictions, before an American can be targeted, the Justice Department must show the person is plotting to kill other Americans. The Pentagon must also determine that he cannot be captured alive. And the military must ensure that the strike would not harm civilians.

You May Like

HRW: Egypt's Trial of Morsi ‘Badly Flawed’

Human Rights Watch says former Egypt leader's detention without charge for more than three weeks after his removal from office violated Egyptian law; government rejects criticism More

Photogallery Lancet Report Calls for Major Investment in Surgery

In its report published by The Lancet, panel of experts says people are dying from conditions easily treated in the operating room such as hernia, appendicitis, obstructed labor, and serious fractures More

Music Industry Under Sway of Digital Revolution

Millions of people in every corner of the Earth now can enjoy a vast variety and quantity of music in a way that has never before been possible More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: ali baba from: new york
February 28, 2014 7:15 PM
The United STATE GOV . has to use any means necessary to disable terrorist. Pakistan is playing double standard and can not be trusted

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs