Terrorism - Foreign
News about terrorism outside the United States
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Why is the Taliban resurging in Afghanistan
|2018-Aug-19||By: (External links)|
White House turns over document justifying killing of U.S. citizens
President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered the Justice Department to hand over to the Senate and House intelligence committees the classified legal rationale for killing U.S. citizens with armed drones.
The 50-page document will be delivered Thursday morning, before the Senate hearing that afternoon to confirm John Brennan as CIA director. Brennan helped manage the drone program, and some senators had threatened to hold up nominations for national security positions if the White House didn't release the legal opinion.
NBC News this week made public an unclassified 16-page Justice Department memo from 2011 justifying the killing of American citizens working with al-Qaida in a foreign country, without evidence that a specific attack is imminent.
The document, which already had been provided to the committees, justifies such killings if "an informed, high-level official" determines the suspected al-Qaida operatives pose "an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States," provided that capture is infeasible and the operation is conducted according to "law-of-war" principles.
Armed drones were used to kill three U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son, and Samir Khan.
Read the unclassified memo here.
Report details CIA torture programs
Fifty-four countries cooperated with the CIA's programs of global kidnapping, detention and torture after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, according to a report released today.
After the attacks, the CIA began a secret detention program in which suspected terrorists were held and tortured at so-called "black sites" outside the United States. The agency also engaged in "extraordinary rendition," transferring detainees without legal process to the custody of foreign governments for interrogation.
Some countries, such as Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt, actively participated in the detention and torture of terrorist suspects. Others, including Belgium, Iceland and Ireland, allowed the use of their airspace or airports for extraordinary rendition flights. Poland and Lithuania were among the countries that hosted secret CIA prisons.
"Both the secret detention program and the extraordinary rendition program were highly classified, conducted outside the United States, and designed to place detainee interrogations beyond the reach of the law," according to the report. "Torture was a hallmark of both."
The 213-page report, released by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a New York-based human rights group, also names 136 people who were subjected to the program, based on information from public sources and other human rights organizations.
You can read the full report at the Open Society Foundations web site.