Al-Awlaki's Dad Sues US

Along with mother of another American killed in drone strike
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2012 3:00 AM CDT
Al-Awlaki's Dad Sues US
Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites, in this Nov. 8, 2010 file photo.   (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group, Dile)

The families of three Americans killed in US drone strikes in Yemen are suing the government, arguing that it had no right to assassinate them without a trial. The wrongful-death suit was filed yesterday by Nasser al-Awlaki, father of Anwar al-Awlaki, and Sarah Khan, mother of Samir Khan, the BBC reports. Awlaki and Khan were killed in the same September drone strike; Awlaki's 16-year-old son Abdulrahman was killed in another in October. The suit names as defendants Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, and other top military officials.

"There is something terribly wrong when a 16-year-old American boy can be killed by his own government without any accountability or explanation," said a lawyer for the Center for Constitutional Rights, which along with the ACLU is backing the suit. Eric Holder has previously argued that the US is allowed to use lethal force against wartime foes, even if they're American. But the suit argues that the killings happened far from any defined battlefield—and hence violate international law as well, the Wall Street Journal reports. (More Anwar al-Awlaki stories.)

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