News reports have been saying he was 21, but that’s a lie, his family says he was 16. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was born in Denver in 1995. He was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, a recruiter for al-Qaeda, who was targeted and killed in another drone strike last month. His father was also a U.S. citizen. Abdulrahman’s grandfather released a statement yesterday:
“To kill a teenager is just unbelievable, really, and they claim that he is an al-Qaeda militant. It’s nonsense. They want to justify his killing, that’s all.”
Abdulrahman’s 17 year old cousin was also killed. The family claims the attack targeted an outdoor barbecue, and several teenagers were killed.
Most reactions I’ve seen consider this a new precedent, in the way the U.S. handles its citizens. But this isn’t new. Government assassinations of U.S. citizens goes back to at least 1969, when the FBI murdered Fred Hampton in his bed as he slept.
Racism: Spot it and Stop it.