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19 Jul, 2013

The U.S. Drone Strike that Killed His American Grandson – Who Will Be Held Accountable?

Ed Walsh, All Alabama. www.al.com

A former agricultural minister in Yemen says his 16-year-old grandson, a U.S. citizen, was killed by an American drone strike in 2011.  Now, two years later, Nasser al-Awlaki still has very little information about the circumstances surrounding his grandson’s death.

Al-Awlaki described his story in an op-ed written for the New York Times.

Al-Awlaki’s grandson, Abdulrahman, was born in Denver, then moved to Yemen at age 7. In October 2011, he was killed in a drone strike while dining at a Yemeni restaurant, al-Awlaki writes, at age 16.

The man who served as Yemen’s minister of agriculture and fisheries from 1988 to 1990 says he will petition the U.S. federal government for additional information later this week.

Click here to read al-Awlaki’s full story at the New York Times.

Here is what the opinion piece says in part:

My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that.

Abdulrahman was born in Denver. He lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager — he watched “The Simpsons,” listened to Snoop Dogg, read “Harry Potter” and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.

In 2010, the Obama administration put Abdulrahman’s father, my son Anwar, on C.I.A. and Pentagon “kill lists” of suspected terrorists targeted for death. A drone took his life on Sept. 30, 2011.

The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar — who was also an American citizen — but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the government’s claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.