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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs