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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid