Features, Online — October 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

U.S. Drone Strike Kills Al-Aulaqi

On September 30, a United States drone strike in northern Yemen killed Anwar al-Aulaqi, an influential and American-born member of al-Qaeda. Al-Aulaqi is believed to have inspired several successful and attempted terrorist attacks, including the Fort Hood shooting in 2009 and the Times Square bomb attempt in 2010.

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There is a great deal of debate about the legal and policy implications of the strike. Some have argued that killing al-Aulaqi significantly increased American security, while others argue that it will have little long-term effect because it does nothing to address the growing radicalization in Yemen. Similarly, while some argue that President Obama did not have the Constitutional authority to kill al-Aulaqi or that the strike violated international law, others argue that the strike was both legal and justified.

Please visit our sister site, Lawfare, for many fascinating discussions of the legal and policy issues surrounding the strike.


  1. Awlaki is not a “member of al-Qaeda.” See Der Spiegel. You’d be much better served by reading the international press than by reading Lawfare. For one thing, there are no “discussions” there, the site doesn’t allow comments and I’ve seen just one post questioning the killings. Which didn’t make the Lawfare FB feed, btw. Check out that feed for my critical comments. I’d love to have an actual discussion.

  2. Much better coverage can be had at the Guardian (UK) and at The Atlantic. Here’s a good article to start with.

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