WASHINGTON: The Barack Obama administration on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time that their drones had killed four Americans in Pakistan and Yemen since 2009, The New York Times reported.
In a letter to Congressional leaders obtained by NYT, US Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr revealed that the US had deliberately killed American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki using a drone strike. According to US authorities, Al-Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric who was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen.
While it was widely reported that Al-Awlaki had been killed in a US drone strike, the US government had till no refused confirm or deny it.
Holder’s letter further disclosed the assassination of three other Amercian citizens in Yemen and Pakistan. It included the murders of Samir Khan, who was killed in the same strike as Al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki’s son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was also killed by a drone attack in Yemen.
Jude Kenan Mohammed is fourth and the only American citizen whom the US government admitted to killing in Pakistan using a drone strike. It did not specify when in the five year period was Mohammed killed.
However, Holder defended the government saying these men were not specifically targeted. “These individuals were not specifically targeted by the United States.”