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Record level of US airstrikes hit Afghan militants

Record number of US airstrikes hit Afghan militants in Pakistani border region Drone aircraft unleashed a missile attack in a lawless tribal region on the Afghan border Wednesday, keeping up the most intense period of U.S. strikes in Pakistan since they began in 2004, intelligence officials said. The stepped-up campaign…

Errant drone near DC almost met by fighter jets

Military almost scrambled fighter jets for errant drone near DC, renewing air safety worries The U.S. military almost launched fighter jets and discussed a possible shoot-down when an errant Navy drone briefly veered into restricted airspace near the nation’s capital last month, a senior military official said Thursday. The incident…

Predator drone patrols of southern US border start Wednesday

PHOENIX (Reuters) – The U.S. government will have unmanned surveillance aircraft monitoring the whole southwest border with Mexico from September 1, as it ramps up border security in this election year, a top official said on Monday. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said U.S. Customs and Border Protection would begin…

UN human rights expert: CIA drone strikes violate laws of war

The use of drones by U.S. intelligence agencies to target suspected militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere lacks the accountability required under international law, a U.N. human rights expert said Friday. Philip Alston, a New York University law professor, will call next week for new international rules to govern the…

ACLU to Obama: ‘Entire world is not a war zone’

UPDATE: CIA drone operators could be prosecuted for war crimes, lawyer tells Congress The US’s unofficial program of targeted killings against terrorist suspects could result in the CIA’s drone operators being prosecuted for war crimes, a prominent law professor told a congressional hearing Wednesday. Loyola Law School professor and former…

Kucinich: US drone attacks in Pakistan could ‘inspire radicalism’

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) forcefully criticized the United States’ drone strikes in Pakistan as inspiring the anti-American sentiments they seek to quell, touching upon a consequence of the policy rarely discussed in the media but well-recognized in the region. “I do not support the drone attacks,” Kucinich told…

As US exports and Iran develops drone tech, Gates frets over ‘non-state actors’

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern Thursday over Iran’s aerial drone program, saying the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. “Countries like Iran are developing their own UAVs and already have a UAV capability,” Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee, using the acronym the military uses for…

US drone raids could land CIA officers in court: expert

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US government’s refusal to offer a legal rationale for using unmanned drones to kill suspected militants in Pakistan could result in CIA officers facing prosecution for war crimes in foreign courts, a legal expert has told lawmakers. “Prominent voices in the international legal community” were increasingly…

One in three killed by US drone strikes is a civilian

The percentage of civilians killed by drones in Pakistan is at about 32 percent, or one out of three, the report states, and the strikes themselves have little effect in deterring terrorist activities in either Pakistan or Afghanistan. Researchers do not believe any of the reported strikes targeted Osama bin…

Mystery shrouds Pakistan Taliban chief’s ‘death’

aMystery deepened over the fate of Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud on Monday following fresh reports of his death as his militant faction promised he would appear alive in a video. US missile attacks have repeatedly targeted Mehsud, the head of Pakistan’s powerful Taliban group and involved in a December…

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