Rights group sues US for 'targeted killing' memos

February 2, 2012 03:06

NEW YORK - The US Justice department should be required to disclose the legal justification for strikes that have killed US citizens abroad, a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union said.

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, comes after the dual US-Yemeni citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in September last year.

Awlaki was a suspected al-Qaida militant. US officials confirmed that a second American, Samir Khan, was also killed in the drone attack. Khan had served as editor of Inspire, a glossy English-language magazine used by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula as a propaganda and recruitment vehicle.

Reuters reported last year that American militants like al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior US government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions.

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