Two pro-militant journalists have sued US President Donald Trump and his administration for the fact that they were allegedly included in a list of persons that should be eliminated by US drones due to ties with terrorist organizations.
Former chief of the Al Jazeera bureau in Pakistan, Ahmed Zaidan, and string correspondent Bilal Kareem have sued US President Donald Trump and officials of his administration, the Politico magazine reported on Friday. The journalists claim that they were allegedly included in a list of persons that should be eliminated by US drones due to ties with terrorist organizations.
According to the journalists, they were added to the list of special services under the administration of former US President Barack Obama, but the new president and his team did nothing to exclude them from the targets of the US Air Force.
The reporters deny their connection with terrorists in a lawsuit, filed in the Washington District Court on Thursday. They demand from Trump, as well as from the US Defense Department, the US Department of Justice and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to exclude them from any existing document, according to which they can be destroyed by US attack drones.
According to documents of the US National Security Agency (NSA), which were published by the Intercept website in 2015, Zaidan was included by Washington in the list of members of the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. The journalist, who has Syrian and Pakistani citizenship, focused his reports throughout his career on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and conducted several high-profile interviews with senior Al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. As the Intercept information website noted, a slide, dated June 2012, from a National Security Agency PowerPoint presentation bears Zaidan’s photo, name, and a terror watch list identification number, as well as labels him a “member of Al-Qa’ida” and the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to US law enforcement officials, Kareem, who has an American passport and has been working as an independent journalist in Syria in recent years, is connected with the Taliban movement. Kareem has a long and established record of creating what is essentially propaganda for extremist groups in Syria. He has conducted dozens of interviews with militants from various extremist groups, including Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate and its allies. In addition, according to the Alternet information website, he has expressed support for Anwar Al-Awlaki, the extremist preacher, credited with inspiring multiple attacks, including the mass shooting at the Fort Hood military base.
The list was published in May 2015. The journalists stressed that people, included in it, may be killed with the help of drones. So, according to Kareem, he has “narrowly avoided being killed by five separate air strikes” over the past year.
In March 2017, the Wall Street Journal newspaper found out that Trump had given the CIA authority to attack positions of terrorists with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).