Tag: Yemen

Holder asserts U.S. authority to kill citizens deemed terrorists

By Richard Serrano and Andrew R. Grimm

The president has legal authority to target and kill American citizens working with Al-Qaida and its allies overseas, according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who declared that when they pose a threat to the country and cannot be captured, “we must take steps to stop them.”

Speaking at Northwestern University law school, Holder gave the most complete explanation to date of the Obama administration’s legal rationale for killing people like U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who was targeted in an airstrike in Yemen last year.

Such killings can be ordered “in full accordance with the Constitution” but require “at least” an imminent threat in a situation where capture is not feasible, and when the strike is “conducted in a manner consistent” with the rules of war, Holder said.

“In this hour of danger,” Holder said, “we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out. And we will not.”

Obama has been warned of a planned attack on U.S. by al-Qaeda

Counter-terrorism officials are said to have warned President Barack Obama that an al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen is trying to produce the deadly nerve agent ricin for use in bomb attacks on the US. By Jacqui Goddard

The New York Times, citing classified intelligence documents and unnamed officials, reports that terrorist operatives have been making efforts to buy large quantities of castor beans – which contain the toxic ricin protein – and shift them to a remote tribal area controlled by insurgents for processing.

Ricin is so poisonous that inhalation of a few minute grains is enough to kill an adult. It was used in deadly incidents including the 1978 assassination in London of Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov and, in 2002, was the subject of a bioterrorism scare in the UK capital following a police raid on a facility said to be plotting its manufacture.

US officials are reported to have told Mr Obama that an attack is not imminent and that the terrorist arm has yet to formulate a means for dispersing it as a weapon.

The CIA is building a secret air base in the Gulf in preparation of worse case scenario

The United States is building a “secret” CIA air base in the Gulf region as it prepares for a worst-case scenario Yemen, the Associated Press reports.

As the political situation in war-torn Yemen deteriorates, Al Qaeda terrorists are taking advantage of the situation to carve out parts of the traditionally divisive nation for themselves. Meanwhile, US strategists are said to be preparing for the possiblity that anti-US factions would win the current power struggle and shut US forces out.

The White House has reportedly increased the numbers of CIA officers in Yemen in anticipation of that possibility, and has accelerated the schedule to construct the new air-base from two years to eight months.

US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because parts of the military and CIA missions in Yemen are classified, asked the AP withhold the location of the base