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Justice Department memo sets rationale to kill Qaida-linked citizens

1:00 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
Drone (By: PHILIPPE LOPEZ, Getty Images)
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PETE YOST, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

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