Moral Outrage
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A Third American Killed by US Drones

In the days before a CIA drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki last month, his 16-year-old son ran away from the family home in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa to try to find him, relatives say. When he, too, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Friday, the Awlaki family decided to speak out for the first time since the attacks.

“To kill a teenager is just unbelievable, really, and they claim that he is an al-Qaeda militant. It’s nonsense,” said Nasser al-Awlaki, a former Yemeni agriculture minister who was the boy’s grandfather. “They want to justify his killing, that’s all.”

The teenager, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who was born in Denver in 1995, and his 17-year-old Yemeni cousin were killed in a U.S. military strike that left nine people dead in southeastern Yemen.

The young Awlaki was the third American killed in Yemen in as many weeks. Samir Khan, an al-Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, died alongside Anwar al-Awlaki (who was born in New Mexico.)

The Awlaki family said that Abdulrahman left Sanaa to find his father. He wrote a note to his mother, saying he missed his father and wanted to see him. The teenager traveled to the family’s tribal home in southern Yemen. They said Abdulrahman “along with some of his tribe’s youth had gone barbecuing under the moonlight. A drone missile hit their [gathering] killing Abdulrahman and several other teenagers.”

Nasser al-Awlaki said the family decided to issue a statement after reading some U.S. news reports that described Abdulrahman as a militant in his twenties.

The family urged journalists and others to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman. “Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies,” the statement said. “His Facebook page shows a typical kid. A teenager who paid a hefty price for something he never did and never was.”

The pictures on the Facebook page show a smiling kid out and about in the countryside and occasionally hamming it up for the camera.

The family also condemned the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, 40, as an “unlawful assassination,” saying that he was an American citizen who had never been formally charged with any crime. The family, in its statement, said, “Anwar was never a ‘militant’ ” nor was he “the head of Al Qaeda external operations.”

[Washington Post]

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2 Responses to “A Third American Killed by US Drones”

  1. […] order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, […]

  2. […] what the administration did. His reasoning was not compelling. In Holder’s formulation, the U.S. government has the right to kill citizens if said citizens present an imminent threat of violent attack and if capturing them alive is not a feasible […]


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