Killing of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki

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Abdulrahman al-Alwaki
Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki.jpg
Abdulrahman Anwar al-Aulaqi[1]

(1995-08-26)August 26, 1995[1]
DiedOctober 14, 2011(2011-10-14) (aged 16)
Cause of deathHomicide (drone strike)
Known forBeing killed by a United States drone strike ordered by the Obama administration
RelativesNasser al-Awlaki (grandfather)
Nawar al-Awlaki (half-sister)

Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki (also spelled al-Aulaqi, Arabic: عبدالرحمن العولقي; August 26, 1995 – October 14, 2011) was a 16-year-old United States citizen who was killed while eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Yemen by a drone airstrike ordered by U.S. President Barack Obama on October 14, 2011.[2][3][4][5] Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's father, Anwar al-Awlaki, was alleged to be an operational leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[6] Anwar was killed by a CIA drone strike[7] also ordered by Obama two weeks prior to the killing of his son.


Human rights groups questioned why al-Awlaki was killed by the U.S. in a country with which the United States was not at war. Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, stated "If the government is going to be firing Predator missiles at American citizens, surely the American public has a right to know who's being targeted, and why."[8]

Two U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity stated that the target of the October 14, 2011, airstrike was Ibrahim al-Banna, an Egyptian believed to be a senior operative in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.[8] Another U.S. administration official speaking on condition of anonymity described Abdulrahman al-Awlaki as a bystander who was "in the wrong place at the wrong time," stating that "the U.S. government did not know that Mr. Awlaki's son was there" before the airstrike was ordered.[8] When pressed by a reporter to defend the targeted killing policy that resulted in Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's death, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs deflected blame to the victim's father: "I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well-being of their children. I don't think becoming an al-Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business."[9][10]

Killing of half-sister[edit]

On January 29, 2017, Anwar al-Awlaki's 8-year-old daughter, Nawar al-Awlaki, the half-sister of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was killed in the Raid on Yakla, a commando attack ordered by President Donald Trump.[11][12][13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's birth certificate". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  2. ^ CODEPINK Repeatedly Disrupts Brennan Hearing Calling Out Names Of Civilians Killed in Drone Strikes 10:38 minutes in
  3. ^ Johnson, Carrie (July 19, 2012). "Families Sue Over U.S. Deaths In Yemen Drone Strikes". NPR. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  4. ^ "American drone deaths highlight controversy". NBC News. February 5, 2013. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  5. ^ Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta
  6. ^ Mark Mazzetti; Charlie Savage; Scott Shane (March 9, 2013). "How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America's Cross Hairs". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
  7. ^ Raghavan, Sudarsan (September 30, 2011). "Awlaqi hit misses al-Qaeda bombmaker, Yemen says". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c Whitloc, Craig (October 23, 2011). "U.S. airstrike that killed American teen in Yemen raises legal, ethical questions". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2012.
  9. ^ Grim, Ryan (October 24, 2012). "Teen Killed In U.S. Drone Strike Should Have 'More Responsible Father,' Obama Campaign Official Says". HuffPost.
  10. ^ Friedersdorf, Conor (October 24, 2012). "How Team Obama Justifies the Killing of a 16-Year-Old American". The Atlantic. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  11. ^ Scahill, Jeremy, Pardiss Kebriaei, Baraa Shiban, and Amy Goodman. "Yemen: Jeremy Scahill & Advocates Question "Success" of Trump Raid That Killed 24 Civilians", Democracy Now!, 3 February 2017. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  12. ^ Ghobari, Mohammed and Phil Stewart. "Commando dies in U.S. raid in Yemen, first military op OK'd by Trump", Reuters, 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  13. ^ Myre, Greg. "Trump Aims For Big Splash In Taking On Terror Fight", NPR, 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  14. ^ "1 US service member killed, 3 wounded in Yemen raid" Archived February 2, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, WPVI-TV, 6 ABC Action News, Philadelphia, PA. 29 January 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.

External links[edit]