Attorney General Eric Holder disclosed that the Obama administration deliberately killed four U.S. citizens in drone strikes abroad.
The U.S. intentionally killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric who was killed in a drone strike in September 2011 in Yemen, according to the attached letter to Congressional leaders, first obtained and reported by The New York Times.
Holder's letter says that the United States had killed three other Americans:
- Samir Khan, who was killed in the same 2011 strike;
- al-Awlaki's son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was also killed in Yemen; and
- Jude Mohammed, who was killed in a strike in Pakistan.
Holder's letter specifically details Anwar al-Awlaki's death, stating that Awlaki's direct actions in planning terrorist attacks led to the drone strike that killed him.
"Awlaki's involvement in the planning of numerous other plots against U.S. and Western interests and [made] clear he was continuing to plot attacks when he was killed," Holder wrote.
"The decision to target Anwar al-Awlaki was lawful, it was considered, and it was just."