Report: CIA gets expanded authority to assassinate top al Qaeda operatives
The White House has prepared a list of terrorist leaders which the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is authorized to kill, according to the New York Times.
The previously undisclosed Central Intelligence Agency list includes key al-Qaeda leaders like Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, as well as other principal figures from terrorist groups affliated with al-Qaeda, senior military and intelligence officials said.
The names of about two dozen terrorist leaders on the list represent "the worst of the worst," of the world's terrorists, an official told the newspaper.
US President George W. Bush has provided written legal authority to the CIA to hunt down and kill the terrorists without seeking further approval each time the agency is about to stage an operation, according to the U.S. daily.
The creation of the secret list is part of an expanded CIA effort to hunt and kill or capture al-Qaeda operatives in countries like Yemen, the New York Times reported.
The precise criteria for adding someone to the list are unclear, but the document is updated periodically, the report added. (Albawaba.com)
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