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Memo sets rationale to kill Qaida-linked citizens

  • Article by: PETE YOST
  • Associated Press
  • February 5, 2013 - 8:12 AM

WASHINGTON - A Justice Department document says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans.

The confidential memo, first reported Monday night by NBC News, provides a legal rationale behind the Obama administration's use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects.

The 16-page document says that delaying action against individuals continually planning to kill Americans would create an unacceptably high risk.

It adds that the threat posed by al-Qaida and its associated forces demands a broader concept of when a person continually planning terror attacks presents an imminent threat.

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