Tags: Al-Qaida | pete king | drone | al-qaida | deaths

Rep. Pete King: Drone Killings of Hostages Unavoidable

By    |   Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 09:04 PM

The accidental killing of an American and an Italian hostage during a U.S. drone attack on an al-Qaida facility in January was tragic, but unavoidable, Rep. Pete King told CNN.

"If you have prisoners who never see the light of day who are kept out of any type of observation at all, I can certainly see how that could happen," King said Thursday on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer." 

"I don't know what else could have been done in this situation to ensure that there were no civilians there.

King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said that the deaths were tragic, but said he is aware of many instances in which al-Qaida members are allowed to go free because intelligence has found that civilians or Americans would be hit.

U.S. law forbids purposely targeting American citizens, even if they are members of terrorist groups overseas.

"Having said that, if I were a relative of those two gentlemen that were killed, I'd be saddened, I'd probably be angry," King added.

Some have criticized the targeting as a "signature strike," in which there is no definitive intelligence of al-Qaida presence, though the people at the facility are acting like al-Qaida members do.

King said that signature strikes are more risky, though in this case the target did turn out to be an al-Qaida base and several al-Qaida members, including an American, were killed.

"To that extent this was successful," King said.

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The accidental killing of an American and an Italian hostage during a U.S. drone attack on an al-Qaida facility in January was tragic, but unavoidable, Rep. Pete King told CNN.
pete king, drone, al-qaida, deaths
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2015-04-23
Thursday, 23 Apr 2015 09:04 PM
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