Monday, April 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Obama officials weigh drone attack on US suspect

American Terror Suspect

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo an unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan, on a moon-lit night. An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year. The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he's a U.S. citizen and the Justice Department must build a case against him, a task it hasn't completed. And President Barack Obama's new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

By
February 11, 2014 | Leave Comment

WASHINGTON — The case of an American citizen and suspected member of al-Qaida who is allegedly planning attacks on U.S. targets overseas underscores the complexities of President Barack Obama’s new stricter targeting guidelines for the use of deadly drones.

The CIA drones watching him cannot strike because he’s a U.S. citizen. The Pentagon drones that could are barred from the country where he’s hiding, and the Justice Department has not yet finished building a case against him.

Four U.S. officials said the American suspected terrorist is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil and that has proved unable to go after him. And Obama’s new policy says American suspected terrorists overseas can only be killed by the military, not the CIA, creating a policy conundrum for the White House.

Two of the officials described the man as an al-Qaida facilitator who has been directly responsible for deadly attacks against U.S. citizens overseas and who continues to plan attacks against them that would use improvised explosive devices.

The officials said the suspected terrorist is well-guarded and in a fairly remote location, so any unilateral attempt by U.S. troops to capture him would be risky and even more politically explosive than a U.S. missile strike.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday he would not comment on specific operations and pointed to Obama’s comments in the major counterterrorism speech last May about drone policy.

“When a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens, and when neither the United States, nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a SWAT team,” Carney said, quoting from Obama’s speech last year.

Under new guidelines Obama addressed in the speech made to calm anger overseas at the extent of the U.S. drone campaign, lethal force must only be used “to prevent or stop attacks against U.S. persons, and even then, only when capture is not feasible and no other reasonable alternatives exist to address the threat effectively.” The target must also pose “a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons” — the legal definition of catching someone in the act of plotting a lethal attack.

The Associated Press has agreed to the government’s request to withhold the name of the country where the suspected terrorist is believed to be because officials said publishing it could interrupt ongoing counterterror operations.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the classified drone targeting program publicly.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., complained last week that a number of terrorist suspects were all but out of reach under the administration’s new rules that limit drone strikes based on the target’s nationality or location. Two of the U.S. officials said the Justice Department review of the American suspected terrorist started last fall.

The senior administration official confirmed that the Justice Department was working to build a case against the suspected terrorist. The official said, however, the legal procedure being followed is the same as when the U.S. killed militant cleric and former Virginia resident Anwar al-Awlaki by drone in Yemen in 2011, long before the new targeted killing policy took effect.

The official said the president could make an exception to his policy and authorize the CIA to strike on a onetime basis or authorize the Pentagon to act despite the possible objections of the country in question.

The Justice Department, the Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment.

If the target is an American citizen, the Justice Department is required to show that killing the person through military action is “legal and constitutional”— in this case, that the Pentagon can take action against the American, as the administration has ruled him an enemy combatant under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a resolution Congress passed a week after the 9/11 attacks to target al-Qaida.

“So little has changed since last year, when it comes to government secrecy over killings,” said Amnesty International’s Naureen Shah on Monday. “The policy is still the stuff of official secrecy and speculation, when it should be a matter of open debate and explicit constraints.”

The administration says U.S. drones have killed four Americans since 2009, including al-Awlaki, who officials said was actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the three other Americans were killed by drones, but were not targeted. The three are Samir Khan, who was killed in the same drone strike as al-Awlaki; al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, a native of Denver who was killed in Yemen two weeks later; and Jude Kenan Mohammed, who was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.

The case has galvanized congressional opponents of Obama’s plan to transfer drones from the CIA to the Defense Department. Before the plan was announced, either CIA or Pentagon drones could go after terrorist targets, even if they were U.S. citizens. The CIA could also fly drones in areas where host countries might object. But by law, the Pentagon can only strike in war zones, in countries that agree to U.S. counterterrorism action or in lawless areas like parts of Somalia where that government’s security forces cannot reach. Even then only al-Qaida-linked suspects can be targeted.

“It is very clear that there have been missed opportunities that I believe increase the risk of the lives of our soldiers and for disrupting operations underway,” Rogers said last week.

U.S. officials said both Senate and House appropriators have blocked funding that would transfer the CIA’s stealth RQ-170 drone fleet to the Pentagon. Some lawmakers want the White House to first come up with a fix for targeting suspects in areas where the Pentagon is banned from operating — either by leaving some part of the CIA operation running or by granting the Pentagon authority to strike covertly despite the location — meaning they could legally deny the operation.

Lawmakers like Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have also objected to the shift to the Pentagon, arguing that the CIA has more experience flying drones. U.S. officials say Pentagon chiefs defending their drone program in closed congressional session last week pointed out that the same cadre of Air Force pilots fly both the CIA and the Pentagon drones.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Jelly Belly artist finds her work sweet

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hundreds turn out for Kroc Easter Egg hunt

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1

Rodriguez musicians win big in Reno

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1

 
 
Heroes for Hire event goes haywire

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

Best of the best compete at dog show

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Tour past, present, future in Mountain View

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

9th Annual Peace Summit on calendar

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
4-H Paper Clover Campaign starts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Center offers baby mammal care class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police arrest 6 in alcohol sting

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Event allows for safe medication disposal

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Silent movie night set in Rio Vista

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Local government meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello to host mushroom class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Club plans home garden tour in Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun City to host 3rd annual MS walk

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Church offers document shredding

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Kids Fishing Derby to take place Saturday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun City police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: April 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Fairfield police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 18, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
North Bay Pediatrics marks anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

Networking event at Solano College

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
Street-sweeping dealership comes to Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

Firm facilitates building lease in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
Weather for Monday, April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

.

US / World

Bid, Dick, bid: ‘Dick and Jane’ artworks for sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bee colonies damaged after almond pollination

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Sleeping girl killed after car drives into home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Nurse in critical condition after stabbing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Recreation areas reopening after Yosemite fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Country music singer Kevin Sharp dies at age 43

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Delay in ferry evacuation puzzles maritime experts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Transcript of SKorea ship sinking: ‘We can’t move’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Transcript reveals confusion over ferry evacuation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Why Hillary? The public awaits her answer

By Ann McFeatters | From Page: A8

 
Knowledge, religion and the hard work of faith

By Cynthia M. Allen | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Legislature critic is selective

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Editorial Cartoon for April 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Local voices, important choices

By Rod Keck | From Page: A8

.

Living

Community Calendar: April 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for April 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
My friend’s wife drinks too much, verbally abuses her husband

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

Horoscopes for April 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

‘Capt. America’ tops box office for third week

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

TVGrid April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

Sharks take 2-0 series lead with 7-2 win vs. Kings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Posey, Lincecum lead Giants to 4-3 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Chavez gets 1st win, A’s complete sweep of Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Young Clippers try to mature against Warriors

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
NBA: Refs missed foul call in Warriors-Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Westwood wins Malaysian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prep baseball: Pair of 10-run innings powers Vikings to win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Red Sox remember Boston Marathon victims

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Prizefighter Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter dies at 76

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Kuchar rallies from 4 back to win RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Jimenez closes with 67 to win Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Aldridge leads Portland over Houston 122-120 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Nene dominates, Wizards rally past Bulls, 102-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats 99-88 in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Duncan scores 27 points, Spurs beat Mavs 90-85

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Business

 
.

Obituaries

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard Of Id April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword April 21

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C. April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard Of Id April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge April 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7