Holder: Drone strikes have killed four Americans since 2009
May 22nd, 2013
09:50 PM ET

Holder: Drone strikes have killed four Americans since 2009

By Carol Cratty and Joe Johns

Counterterrorism drone strikes have killed four Americans overseas since 2009, the U.S. government acknowledged for the first time on Wednesday, one day before President Barack Obama delivers a major speech on related policy.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States specifically targeted and killed one American citizen, al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, in 2011 in Yemen, alleging he was plotting attacks against the United States.

The letter provided new details about al-Awlaki's alleged involvement in bomb plots targeting U.S. aviation.

Holder also said the Obama administration was aware of three other Americans who had been killed in counterterrorism operations overseas.

Holder said Samir Kahn, Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammed were not targeted by the United States but he did not add more details about their deaths.

The letter represents the first U.S. admission that the four were killed in counterterror strikes even though their deaths had been reported in the media.

Read the full story here.


soundoff (56 Responses)
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  7. jerrylax

    holder, tell us how many innocents they have killed...children and etc.. And, how many we could have caught and interrogated for info. obama's policy is a mess.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
    • Portland tony

      That it is jerrylax, that it is indeed! This obscene butchery must somehow come to and end! Obama needs to be brought before the I.C.C. and tried as the war criminal that he is!!!

      May 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        @Portland tony,ignorence abounds here and you've been served bud posting like that..And you think your elustreous hero in Bushs who mind you started these drone attacks against Osama BinLaden and Al Qaeda back in 2001 and just where were you bud hiding or what!Yah didn't impeach Bushs after he created his unfunded wars with lies murdering thousands of innocent military ,Iraqi civilians that 150 other countries have seen but ours with indictments against Bush,Cheney,Rumsfield for human rights violations by the ICC in the Hague. Netherlands..Quit ranting like a person ignorently possessed because remember tony people here read and you don't want to be put in that john smith category do yah,think twice write once !!

        May 26, 2013 at 10:02 am |
      • USMC1371

        Just curious pete,
        Why would we care at all what the ICC has done? The U.S. hss stated it will not join or recognize the ICC's made up authority.

        May 27, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
      • USMC1371

        The US is not a member of the icc and has stated it does not recognize its made up authority.
        So try again camel jockey

        May 28, 2013 at 8:40 pm |
      • Pete

        @usmc1371,I know we're supposidly not signatory with them but its not our indictments I'm speaking of its the other over 150 other countries but ours that see Bush,Cheney,Rumsfield for what they are as murderers..We as a country are discrediting ourselves that's all for not only not recognizing their indictments made public but harboring these criminals as well!!

        May 29, 2013 at 10:06 am |
  8. George Patton-2

    I wish that CNN would do something about these middle eastern paid spokespersons like "wjmccartan", and Pakistani phunnie boys. All these hired morons do is post anti-American views. This has been going on for some time now and this paid lobbyist clowns need to be blocked from this web page once and for all!

    May 23, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • USMC1371

      CNN needs to kick this parroting name thief above off this website. Besides, I'm fed up with his demeaning the good name of a WW2 icon. This is getting old and fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 23, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Right on, USMC1371! This clown isn't even funny anymore. I guess he'll be usurping my screen name sooner of later. We'll just have to put up with it!

        May 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
      • USMC1371

        I didn't say that but, who am I to argue?

        May 24, 2013 at 2:16 am |
      • Pete

        @usmc1371,good mornin..Told him how to send CNN an email and it'll get this phunney boy or whoever off but you have to make the first step or it won't get done!!Basicly his fault for being lazy that's all or ignorent ,his choice!!

        May 25, 2013 at 10:40 am |
      • Phunnie boy

        I see I managed to fool you guys by my posting under George Patton's name. I happen to like the M.I.C. in Washington!

        May 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  9. George Patton-2

    So what? law enforcement people kill bad guys everyday in our towns, cities, states. Bad guys better dead than live.

    May 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • wjmccartan

      I wish that CNN would do something about this parroting name thief above. All this joker does is steal other peoples' names here and make a joke out of all our discussions. This has been going on for some time now and this clown needs to be blocked from this web page once and for all!

      May 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • George Patton-2

        shut up you jerk, I am the original George Patton-2, grow up moron.

        May 23, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
  10. George Patton-2

    I hate seeing his pig face over and over again. Isn't he biting dust? Hey punnie by do something and make this ugly dude disappear from CNN.

    May 23, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  11. Jesus Justice

    Wall Street, yer Houseboy is outta control. Please give his leash a little "tug" will you?

    May 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  12. Carpe Diem

    Should read PM of LIBYA

    May 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  13. Carpe Diem

    America is now officially not so much a power, as a bunch of cowards. Sorry but it's true. You have lost credibility in several ways:
    # You are led by the nose by a dishonest and failing administration
    # You are currently the world's largest debtor nation
    # You are indiscriminate attackers.

    May 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      @CarpeDiem,maybe just take the late Gen.Curtis Lamays advice and bomb them back to the STONE AGES then ..It'll only take one nuclear bomb in a B2 or B52 to send them back and make most of Afghanistan into a glass factory then you can scream coward at us then when there's nobody left..How bout paying the Turks to take the Afghan rebels out because they're ruthless and historicly they hate each other as well and most everyone is scared of the Turks as well!!

      May 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Reply
      • Carpe Diem

        Pete you just illustrated my point. Thanks.

        May 25, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • wjmccartan

      Very well put, Carpe Diem. We need more intelligent posts like yours above.

      May 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Carpe Diem

        Thank you Sir.

        May 25, 2013 at 1:48 am |
  14. John Bolivar

    In war you must kill people and destroy infractructure until the enemy no longer has the will or the ability to fight. My grandson is in training to be a drone pilot so he will helping accomplish this goal. Way to go Penguins! Go Drones!

    May 23, 2013 at 10:18 am | Reply
    • George Patton

      What a disgusting post the above is!!! How can anyone take pride in training to kill? I just want to reiterate that there is no glory in killing anyone regardless of American public opinion. Furthermore, no one should ever pride themselves upon it!!!

      May 23, 2013 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • George Patton

        I did not make above post, punnie boy did; he is trying to make me look as dumb as he is. I fully agree with you mr. Bolivar !!!

        May 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm |
    • Carpe Diem

      You get today,s prize for the most brainless, amoral, juvenile comment of the year. You are offensive, Sir, and need help.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  15. I aM

    It's war.

    May 23, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
    • Carpe Diem

      It's indefensible, disgusting and only a person of VERY limited intelligence would say that. You're a sad person whose character wasn't shaped by education and ethics.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Reply
      • USMC1371

        Actually he is correct. It is not honor or glorified to kill but, it is necessary to remove animals from the civilised world.

        May 24, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  16. Managing the decline of America

    Samir Kahn, Abdul Rahman Anwar al-Awlaki and Jude Kenan Mohammed are Americans? Well, if nobody is bothered that Abraham Lincoln killed four hundred thousand good Confederate Soldiers, I think nobody will miss this quartet of dubious fellows. Insh Allah!

    May 23, 2013 at 9:13 am | Reply
  17. George Patton

    Like I already said many times before, they need to outlaw those dastardly and godless drones once and for all! This rotten butchery is a horrific reflection on this nation of ours and causes us Americans to appear quite barbaric to the rest of the world. Have we truly lost our national pride or what? Furthermore, I'm sick and tired of reading all these ignorant comments here saying stupid things like 'go drones'. The people who make these comments are anti-intellectual and can't tell up from down or left from right and embarrass me as an American myself!!!

    May 23, 2013 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • USMC1371

      Go Drones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      May 23, 2013 at 5:22 am | Reply
      • George Patton

        Posted by another Tea Partying maniac above!!! What's wrong with people like these anyway? Are they truly that brainwashed? Evidently yes, sadly enough.

        May 23, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Jomama

      Lets think for a moment! Pilot in an aircraft firing a missile. A pilot firing a missile on a drone. A pilot in an aircraft in harms way, a pilot for a drone is not. A drone can go into extreme hostile territory with the pilot safe. Now lets think of morals, a British person being hacked to death with cleavers in downtown London. Which is Barbaric.

      May 23, 2013 at 6:33 am | Reply
      • Jomama

        The answer is, its all Barbaric. A weapon is a weapon, be it a knife or a drone. So go Drones.

        May 23, 2013 at 7:22 am |
    • Carpe Diem

      George, I agree with everything you said until you used the word "Teabaggers'; It's a LIBERAL President ordering drone attacks and Liberal who support him so to generalize about "teabaggers" lost you credibility for your otherwise brilliant comments. Sorry,friend.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Reply
      • George Patton

        Obama is no liberal, Carpe Diem. He's using those killer drones indiscriminately in the Middle East and Central Asia plus the fact that he has never closed down Gitmo where the obscene torturing of political prisoners still continues on a daily basis. His actions speak louder than his words!!!

        May 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • George Patton

      I did not make above post, It's only phunnie boy trying to make look like a jerk as usual.

      May 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  18. Pete

    Only four died as what collateral damage then if not targeted ,lousey Intel or pretty lucky either way for our drone operators..My son is exNavy pilot and was instructed in operating drones so is he a murderer by these advocates of war in republicans or heros helping to save their comrades ,the boots on the ground our Marines,Army you tell me because he enlisted not drafted like years ago and he's proud of what he did as I of him!!Thanks to all that have served ,actively serving and let's get the hell out of Afghanistan as soon as possible Gods speed to all!!And let's put more drones in the air to close this thing out !!

    May 22, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Reply
    • Tom

      Gee whiz Pete, have you no sense of right or wrong whatsoever? How can you defend those butchers who operate those ungodly drones, hurling 500 lb. bombs on defenseless people? I wonder if all the Germans and Italians felt that way during WW2. I somehow doubt that! Like somebody already said on another blog, we need to restore a sense of morality among the American public.

      May 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        @Tom,would yah rather drones hurling your supposid 500 lb bombs at insurgents or have our guys in foot soldiers in Marines Army getting blasted out of their boots by their IEDs you tell me because its war and death that have no rules..Maybe we'll let the Turks have them then nothing will be left to be worth anything because there is definitly no love lost between them historicly..And check your history bud it was Hitlers Luffwaff that destroyed almost all of Europe,read up history on Hitlers bombing killing hundreds of thousands of innocents ..Check out how Curtis LaMay wanted to bomb Vietnam back to the STONE AGE,he's the one Truman ordered to drop the bombs on Hiroshima,Nagasaki killing over 140 ,000 in seconds ending WWII!!War has no morality bud because if you read most of your republican presidents either created them in this era or jumped in as help and as usual got stuck holding the bag so to speak...And to my dear small minded imbecile MASSOUD the raghead I've just stated more facts than your little empty headed skull could possibly comprehend and remember massoud that I'm brain damaged as you past stated but obviously more intelligent than you small fry!!As others said here too GO DRONES!!And if you want peace take republicans away from the MIC and their lobbyist and everything will be peaceful again,I'll bet on that one will you!!

        May 23, 2013 at 11:20 am |
      • Carpe Diem

        Very well said Tom. There's a WORLD of difference between fighting against attackers and obliterating innocents then glibly spouting words like" collateral damage" You can't make an action decent by giving it a 'respectable name.'

        May 23, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • massoud

      Nice rambling incoherent post Petard, I would give You the benefit of the doubt that You were drunk when You wrote this indecipherable comment but unfortunately for You it is more than likely a result of Your lacking cognitive skills, that You live with on a daily basis.

      May 23, 2013 at 2:41 am | Reply
      • Pete

        @massoud,how yah doing imbecile and how's yah doing in school learning to do the three Rs in reading ,riting and respect for someone that's forgot more than your little empty headed skull could ever comprehend or read up about..Nice try naming me and please let me know which you haven't just what state your family's from,quit ducking because the name Massoud sounds like one of those guys shot yesterday that hacked that soldier up in Britain,any relationship or just coincidence,you tell me raghead!!

        May 23, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Carpe Diem

      ONLY 4 died in Benghazi due to the negligence, and REFUSAL to accept 1st hand INTEL from the PM of, on the part of the Obama administration and THEY didn't care about THAT either..

      So spare us the apologetics and man up and admit – you don't care about human life - not EVEN about 4 of your own! Why would you CARE about others? Shame on you.

      May 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • Carpe Diem

        Should read PM of Libya.

        May 23, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
      • Pete

        @Carpe Diem,bombs ,explosives and other weapons have no innocents or combatants labeled on them..It's war and its inherient collateral damage in innocent lives lost no matter where ,its evident in every military conflict.We never should have been in Iraq,Afghanistan and Vietnam but when you have a party as republicans who advocate it to keep their base in the MIC happy and republicans pockets filled by their lobbyists at our kids expense then wars you'll have,right!! Take lobbying out of politics and you'll see the world of difference but until then its business as usual for republicans the warmongers and the MIC,two brothers in arms!!

        May 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
      • USMC1371

        Yep only four dead... one wad a target the other three were just there. Well being that tge other three were Muslim and in the same location as the targeted one. Does anyone really care? They may have been American by paperwork but their actions made that irrelevant.

        May 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  19. Bill Williams

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    May 22, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Reply

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