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IPFS News Link • Drones

Rand Paul challenges Obama spokesman's comment on son of terrorist killed by drone strike

Sen. Rand Paul said a lot of things during his 13-hour filibuster of President Barack Obama’s nominee for CIA director. We’ll be checking several of his claims related to the Obama administration’s policy on drones, the unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to track and kill almost anywhere.

One of the comments Paul made during his filibuster concerned the case of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. He was the 16-year-old son of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric tied to al-Qaida who was killed in a drone strike. The killing of the elder al-Awlaki in September 2011 attracted widespread attention because it was an example of the U.S. government using drones to kill a U.S. citizen overseas.

The killing of his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, on Oct. 14, 2011, is a lot less well-known. The younger al-Awlaki was reportedly killed two weeks after his father and was also an American citizen, born in Denver in 1995. Tom Junod of Esquire magazine wrote that "there has been no similar public discussion over the death of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki because there was, until now, no hard information available about the death of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. … The administration has neither acknowledged his death or acknowledged that it killed him."