Pentagon, CIA sued over Yemen killings
WASHINGTON - The Associated PressCivil rights groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the drone strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington on July 18 on behalf of relatives of the victims. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, CIA Director David Petraeus and other high officials are named as defendants. A drone strike in Yemen in September 2011 killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born Muslim cleric who joined al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate, and Samir Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen who moved to Yemen in 2009 and worked on Inspire, an English-language al-Qaeda magazine. Al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, was killed in October.
The lawsuit charges that senior CIA and military officials violated the Constitution and international law when they authorized strikes by the unmanned drones. The complaint also accuses the U.S. government failing to take legally required measures to protect civilian bystanders.