Exclusive: Drones "inhumane", dead al Qaeda man's family says
(Reuters) - The brother of al Qaeda's second-in-command, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike, said Washington's use of the remote-controlled weapons is inhumane and makes a nonsense of its claims to champion human rights.
U.S. officials said on Tuesday that Libyan-born al Qaeda operative Abu Yahya al-Libi was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan, in what was described as a major blow to the militant group.
The attack is likely to fuel an increasingly fierce debate about the legality and morality of the drones, which have become one of the chief U.S. weapons against al Qaeda but which opponents say stretch the definition of the legitimate use of lethal force.
"The United States talks human rights and freedoms for all, but the method they used to kill him is savage," Abu Bakr al-Qayed, brother of al-Libi, told Reuters on Wednesday in a telephone interview.
"The way the Americans killed him is heinous and inhumane," he said, speaking from the town of Wadi Otba, south of the Libyan capital. "We are in the 21st century and they claim to be civilized and this is how they take out people."
"Regardless of my brother's ideology, or beliefs, he was a human being and at the end of the day deserves humane treatment," he said.
For years considered a covert Central Intelligence Agency program, the unmanned aircraft can be remotely piloted from thousands of kilometers (miles) away and can fire missiles at targets at the push of a button.
White House officials say there is nothing in international law that forbids the use of the drones and that, by killing dangerous insurgents, they are making Americans safer.
That view has been challenged by authorities in Pakistan, who are angry because many of the strikes have happened on their soil, and by rights campaigners.
Civil liberties groups argue that the strikes are illegal because they take place outside an active battlefield, meaning the rules of law which allow a combatant to kill their opponent do not apply.
More at http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/ ... B820120606
Because, you know, Al Qaida is renowned for their humane killing methods