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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid