|Born||Abdulrahman Anwar al-Aulaqi
August 26, 1995
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
|Died||October 14, 2011
|Known for||Being killed in a drone strike|
Abdulrahman Anwar al-Awlaki (born al-Aulaqi; 26 August 1995 – 14 October 2011) was a 16-year-old American of Yemeni descent who was killed while eating dinner at an outdoor restaurant in Yemen by a drone airstrike ordered by U.S. President Barack Obama on 14 October 2011. Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki's father, Anwar al-Awlaki, was an operational leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Anwar was killed by a CIA drone strike also ordered by President Barack Obama two weeks prior to the death of his son. 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 a commando attack ordered by President Donald Trump.
Human rights groups have raised questions as to 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."
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. 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. 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."
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