What Specific Security Assurances Does the Obama Administration Want?

Persons detained by the U.S. at the Detention Facility in Parwan (DFIP), also known as Bagram, may pose a continuing threat to our security. But the nature of that threat, and how the U.S. plans to mitigate it past 2014, are unknown. Before the U.S. repatriates detainees, it requires security assurances from the host nation. The specifics of the security assurances are largely unknown, and likely changing. But they may be a deciding factor in determining whether the U.S. is able to close not only the DFIP, but also the facility at Guantanamo. This post will examine the nature of the security assurances the U.S. seeks from potential host nations.

The U.S. is still in control of approximately 66 detainees at the DFIP.[1] These detainees are third-country nationals (TCNs), mostly from Pakistan, but some from Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and elsewhere.[2]  As the U.S. military’s involvement in Afghanistan winds down, the Obama administration will likely have to make a decision about what to do with these TCNs. While it is not certain the U.S. will have to give up control of the DFIP, loss of control remains a possibility.[3] If the U.S. relinquishes control of the DFIP, and the Afghan government is unwilling or unable to detain the existing TCNs, the Obama administration may look to repatriate the TCNs to their home country (or to a third country).

In order for the U.S. to repatriate a TCN to his home country, several conditions must be fulfilled. First, the TCN must be recommended for transfer.[4] Second, the home country must be willing to accept the TCN.[5] Once the home country has agreed in principle to the repatriation, the U.S. needs assurances on two additional fronts before repatriation can progress: That detainees will not be tortured (non-refoulement) and that they will not be permitted to return to fight.[6]

First, the U.S. has a non-refoulement obligation under international law not to repatriate a person to a country where there is a credible risk of torture.[7] While there is some evidence that the U.S. has not lived up to this standard in the past,[8] the Obama administration appears to take seriously its duties of non-refoulement.[9]

Second, the Obama Administration demands certain security assurances from the host country.[10] Obviously, the Administration does not want TCNs to become security threats upon repatriation, and has legitimate cause to believe this is a real possibility.[11] Although most of the information regarding security assurances remains classified or unknown to the public, some information has been made public through ACLU FOIA requests. Additionally, some can be pieced together from newspaper articles, and these pieces start to give an idea of what constitutes sufficient security assurances from the administration’s perspective.

While Congress has provided a basic procedure for the repatriation process, beyond that, we have little public information about the guidelines to determine who or what constitutes a security threat,[12] and even less to specify what the U.S. government expects a host country to do to properly mitigate those threats.[13] While the Pentagon publicly states its anticipation that most TCNs will be repatriated “once those [host] countries have provided the U.S. assurances that they will take appropriate steps to mitigate the threat these individuals pose,”[14] it has not specified a framework for what those steps might be. However, by examining the Dept. of Defense’s detainee classifications, and how those detainees have been repatriated, U.S. policy becomes clearer. Additionally, because much of the information about security assurances is not public, it will be useful to examine the administration’s past behavior, particularly with regard to its treatment of Yemen.

Basic Framework for Repatriation

Recently, Congress has taken a more active role in shaping the standard for repatriation, although there is much that remains unknown. Specifically, Section 1025 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 lays out part of the procedure for the repatriation of non-Afghan detainees held by the U.S. at the DFIP, and places limits on the military’s authority to transfer detainees.[15] This is the first instance of Congress instituting an Afghanistan-specific limitation of executive discretion over detainees.[16]

Before initiating any transfer of non-Afghan detainees from the DFIP, the Secretary of Defense must make several assessments. [17]  First, in the case of a pending release, the Secretary must determine “the threat posed by the individual and the security environment of the country to which the individual is to be transferred.”[18] In the case of prosecution by the host country, the Secretary must determine “the capacity, willingness, and historical track record of the country with respect to prosecuting similar cases, including a review of the primary evidence against the individual to be transferred and any significant admissibility issues regarding such evidence that are expected to arise in connection with the prosecution of the individual.”[19] Finally, in the case of rehabilitation or reintegration, the Secretary must determine “the capacity, willingness, and historical track records of the country for reintegrating or rehabilitating similar individuals.”[20]

Once the appropriate assessment has been made, the Secretary of Defense must submit a written notice explaining the transfer decision, at least 10 days before the transfer takes place, to the House Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Foreign Relations.[21]

The three categories of detainees outlined in Section 1025 – those being transferred for (1) prosecution, (2) release, or (3) rehabilitation (also described as “participation in a reconciliation program”) – are consistent with an internal Department of Defense memorandum.[22] The Department of Defense internal memorandum further provides additional procedures for the repatriation of TCNs:

The return of third-country nationals to their countries of origin, and the transfer of third-country nationals to countries other than Afghanistan, require approval by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, or his designee. Recommendations for such transfers shall be transmitted to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, through the Director, Joint Staff’. [Office of the Secretary of Defense] will ensure that recommendations are coordinated with the Department of State prior to seeking approval from the Deputy Secretary of Defense.[23]

Based on this language there appears to be some coordination between State and Defense officials regarding U.S. recommendations. It is unclear which department takes the lead in ensuring that host nations offer, and comply with, the necessary security assurances, although under the Bush Administration, negotiations were handled by the State Department.[24] Indeed, the above-referenced memo is dated 2009, so the procedures may have changed.[25] Despite the fluctuating nature of detainee repatriation policy, it is illuminating to look at past repatriations.

Detainees Scheduled for Prosecution

Excluding the detainees at Bagram transferred to Afghan control, there do not appear to be any detainees from either Bagram or Guantanamo who have been transferred to a third country to face prosecution.[26]

Detainees Scheduled for Release

The lowest bar for security assurances appears to be for those detainees scheduled for release because detainees scheduled for release are simply being released from custody. A detainee scheduled for release has likely been declared by the Detention Review Board to no longer be an  “Enduring Security Threat” .[27] In at least one instance regarding the repatriation of nine Pakistani nationals to Pakistan, the U.S. Department of State made clear that it sought no security assurances. The Department cabled Islamabad:

We want to emphasize that these individuals are being transferred for release; the United States is not asking the [Government of Pakistan] to detain these individuals after transfer. Any government measures taken after transfer with respect to these individuals would be solely subject to the laws of Pakistan. They would no longer be subject to any control by the United States.[28]

At the very least, we can understand this language to mean that, in some instances, neither the Department of State nor Defense requires security assurances from TCN host nations regarding detainees being repatriated for release.

Detainees Scheduled for Rehabilitation

An inference can be made that TCNs scheduled for rehabilitation are much more likely to have been determined to be an enduring security threat than those scheduled for release. Following from this, and as I will point out, “rehabilitation” can consist of a prison term, but does not necessarily include prison time.

Very little information regarding the transfer of TCNs from Bagram for the purposes of rehabilitation or prosecution has been made public through FOIA requests. However, some information about repatriations from Guantanamo has been made public through news sources. For example, we know that travel restrictions (and the accompanying surveillance necessary to impose them) are a key issue because in March of 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta balked at transferring five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay to Qatar, after the government of Qatar had not taken sufficient steps to ensure the detainees could not leave the country post-repatriation.[29]

Indeed, there have been a total of four Guantanamo detainees who, upon prosecution by U.S. military commissions, were transferred to another country to serve part of their sentence, Omar Khadr, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi, David Hicks, and Salim Ahmed Hamdan.[30] Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen, pled guilty, in October of 2010, to several violations of the laws of war.[31] As part of his plea agreement, he was sentenced by the military commission to serve eight years, one of which would be spent in solitary confinement in Guantanamo, and then he would eligible to be repatriated to Canada to serve the remainder of his sentence.[32] In September of 2012, Khadr was transferred to Canada to serve out his sentence.[33] At the time of the transfer, the Department of Defense noted that, “[t]he United States coordinated with the government of Canada regarding appropriate security … measures.”[34] However, it remains unclear exactly what those measures are. Currently, Khadr is being held at the Edmonton Institution maximum-security prison in Edmonton.[35] He recently applied for a transfer to a provincial jail, but was denied.[36] The court based its opinion on whether his placement in a penitentiary (as opposed to a provincial jail) was correct under Canadian law, and did not address security agreements between the U.S. and Canada.[37]

Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al Qosi pled guilty to multiple charges in July 2010, and after serving two years in Guantanamo was repatriated back to his native Sudan.[38] At the time of al Qosi’s transfer, a Defense Department spokesperson said the United States “coordinated with the Government of Sudan on appropriate security measures to mitigate any threat [al Qosi] continues to pose.”[39] Al Qosi’s lawyer, Paul Reichler, said his client would participate in a re-entry program designed by the Sudanese government for former detainees.[40]

The program was designed by the Sudanese National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum and combines life-skill training with close monitoring.[41] The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of a document sent by the NISS to the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum that outlines the program.[42] First, repatriated detainees undergo psychological and medical evaluations.[43]  If the NISS determines the transferee holds extremist ideology, he is further detained and must complete education and job-skill training, marriage counseling, and de-radicalization counseling administered by “well respected Imams and Islamic Scholars.”[44] Further, the detainee’s family is incorporated into this process.[45]

The report then goes on to note what happens upon release:

Once and [sic] individual has successfully completed the rehabilitation program and NISS determined that they no longer adhere to a radical ideology, they are released and closely monitored. NISS places them in a job and directs them to worship at an approved, moderate mosque. NISS assigns a surveillance team to monitor the individual and also uses informants at the individual’s job and mosque to evaluate whether the individual is truly rehabilitated. NISS conducts regular interviews with the individual and their family members to ensure that the individual stays on the right path. The individual may request further meetings with the scholars, imams, and psychologists if they feel it necessary and NISS makes arrangements for these meetings for the individual. The NISS also monitors the individual’s phone and email. If the individual makes contact with a known radical, is seen reading radical literature or makes radical statements NISS arrests them and the rehabilitation process begins all over again.[46]

The report claims the program is 85% effective.[47] This number is not verified, but we now know that, at least in some cases, the U.S. seeks continued incarceration (where applicable) combined with a reintegration program and extensive monitoring and reporting.

Salim Ahmed Hamdan was released to Yemen to serve out his sentence in November of 2008.[48] In fact, the remainder of his sentence was a little over a month.[49] Upon completion he was released to his wife and children.[50] The Washington Post spoke with a senior diplomatic official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and said the Yemenis promised that they could continue to mitigate any threat he might pose to the United States.[51] The details of this mitigation have not been made public.

David Hicks also finished out his sentence in his home country, in this case Australia.[52] As part of his plea deal, he served part of his sentence at Guantanamo and then was transferred to Australia, where he served nine months in solitary confinement at a maximum security facility in Adelaide.[53] It is unclear whether Australia made any promises to the U.S. to continue to monitor Hicks beyond his nine-month incarceration.

Whether or not the Administration asks for security assurances (and ultimately whether it is satisfied by any assurances received) from a host nation appears to hinge on multiple factors. This is illustrated by the U.S.’ history with Yemen.

The Case of Yemen

If the overall security of the host country does not meet certain standards, the facts on the ground undermine any assurances the host country provides. Yemen, for example, presents an interesting case because in 2009, President Obama barred repatriations of detainees back to Yemen.[54] Obama has since lifted the prohibition,[55] but the policy was in place for approximately four years and remains instructive. The prohibition came after Nigerian-born Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a commercial airline on Christmas Day of 2009, reportedly on instruction from Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), based in Yemen.[56] At the time, some critics referred to the prohibition as “guilt by nationality,”[57] but perhaps it was a reflection of valid concerns with Yemen’s ability to adequately address U.S. concerns over recidivism. The recent lifting of this ban gives us occasion to reflect on what, if anything, changed with regard to Yemen.[58]

The U.S. has had a tumultuous relationship with Yemen in regard to the treatment of persons the U.S. classifies as terrorism suspects, especially when dealing with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh from 2001 to 2012.[59] Two instances highlight this discord. First, the U.S., on several occasions, made it clear to Saleh that it wanted Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric whom the CIA suspected of supporting terrorism,[60] either in custody or closely monitored, in the capital, Sana’a.[61] Saleh permitted al-Awlaki to leave Sana’a and go to a small village, al Saeed, in southern Yemen, where the Saleh government would have a more difficult time monitoring al-Awlaki.[62] At the time, Saleh was balancing U.S. concerns over terrorism with his domestic problems of placating Islamic extremists who questioned his legitimacy.[63] Ultimately, Saleh was unable to placate the U.S. and the U.S. killed al-Awlaki in a targeted drone strike.[64]

The second instance, and arguably the more salient one (although the two circumstances are alleged to be directly connected[65]), is the Christmas Day bombing incident, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to ignite an explosive device aboard a trans-Atlantic flight bound for Detroit.[66] Abdulmutallab had allegedly received some training, and acted on instruction from AQAP in Yemen.[67] Soon after these events, the Obama administration determined that the facts on the ground were not consistent with transferring suspected terrorists.[68]

It is difficult to know whether lifting the prohibition of transferring detainees to Yemen was motivated by a change in facts on the ground or a shifting of the political winds. But while it is not possible to know all of the factors that go into an evaluation of Yemen’s security situation, a New York Times timeline makes it plain to see that the security situation in Yemen is still quite volatile.[69]

So the other answer is politics – President Obama has frequently expressed a desire to close the detention center at Guantanamo because it is viewed negatively throughout the world.[70] There are at least 89 Yemenis currently being held at Guantanamo.[71] Therefore, in order for the president to close Guantanamo, he’ll likely need to repatriate at least some of these detainees back to Yemen.

Political Aspect of Repatriation

The underlying elephant in the repatriation room is politics, both international and domestic.[72] One the one hand, the Administration seeks to increase its international political standing by closing Guantanamo and Bagram. However, the Administration must balance these concerns with domestic politics. If it appears to the American public that detainees are simply being let out, the Administration will lose credibility. Or worse, the Administration will be blamed for future recidivism. The notion that politics plays a role in repatriation is likely obvious to many. However, the role of politics may be closer to a deciding factor. For example, the fact that the repatriation prohibition was lifted in Yemen despite seemingly little change in the security conditions on the ground in Yemen tends to show that cosmetic changes can create the necessary political space to repatriate detainees. The question remains whether there is enough political space to repatriate TCNs from Bagram.


[1] The number of TCNs at the DFIP was 66 as of June 2013. Letter from Barack Obama, President, to Congressional Leaders Regarding the War Powers Resolutions, The White House (June 14, 2013), http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/14/letter-president-regarding-war-powers-resolution.

[2] Omran Belhadi, Justice Project Pakistan, Closing Bagram The Other Guantanamo 4 (Sept. 5, 2013), available at http://www.jpp.org.pk/bagram/closing-bagram-the-other-guantanamo/  [hereinafter JPP]; Agence France Presse, Campaigners Pressure Pakistan, U.S. Govts on Bagram Detainees, Express Trib. (Sept. 4, 2013), http://tribune.com.pk/story/599684/campaigners-pressure-pakistan-U.S.-on-bagram-detainees/.

[3] The Bilateral Security Agreement is being negotiated at the time of writing. See Bailey Cahall, Kerry, Karzai Reach Partial Deal on Bilateral Security Agreement, Foreign Policy (Oct. 14, 2013), http://afpak.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/10/14/kerry_karzai_reach_partial_deal_on_bil.ateral_security_agreement; Rod Nordland, Afghan Council Approves Security Pact, But Karzai Withholds His Signature, N.Y. Times (Nov. 24, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/25/world/asia/afghan-council-approves-us-security-pact.html?_r=0.

[4] For a more detailed discussion about the process by which a TCN is recommended for transfer, see JPP, supra note 2, at 13–15.

[5] In many cases, this is not a given. It is alleged that Pakistan, for example, has in some cases denied (or delayed the confirmation) that the TCN is a citizen. See, e.g., id. at 30.

[6] Additionally, the U.S. will also need to obtain an exit visa from the Afghan government for each TCN it seeks to transfer.

[7] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, art. 3, Dec. 10, 1984, 108 Stat. 382, 1465 U.N.T.S. 85. Per rule 21.4, citation of a treaty among more than two parties needs one international treaty source.

[8] See, e.g., Duncan Campbell, U.S. Sends Suspects to Face Torture, The Guardian, (Mar. 11, 2002), http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/mar/12/september11.U.S.a.

[9] Cable from Office of U.S. Secretary of State, Washington D.C., to U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan (Jan. 11, 2006), available at https://www.aclu.org/national-security/state-dept-cables-re-bagram-detainee-releases-and-policy [hereinafter Cable] (cables were made public through an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request) (“We seek confirmation that your government will treat these individuals humanely and in a manner consistent with laws and obligations of Pakistan. In particular, we ask for confirmation, as your government has provided before, that they will not be subjected to torture”) (emphasis added) (page marked “B6,” and the fifth page in the ACLU document file). See also Exec. Order No. 13,491, 74 Fed. Reg. 4893 (Jan. 27, 2009).

[10] Memorandum from the Deputy Sec’y of Def. to Sec’ys of the Military Dep’ts, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Under Sec’y of Def. for Policy, Under Sec’y of Def. for Intelligence, Commander U.S. Central Command & Commander U.S. Special Operations Command, 41 (July 2, 2009), available at http://www.aclu.org/files/pdfs/natsec/bagram20100514/07bagrampolicy_30-92.pdf.

[11] Saeed Ali al-Shihri, a Yemeni national, returned to jihad upon his repatriation to Yemen from Guantanamo in 2007. Mark Mazzetti, No. 2 Leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen is Killed, N.Y. Times (Jan. 24, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/world/middleeast/said-ali-al-shihri-qaeda-leader-in-yemen-is-dead.html. See also Cong Li, Recidivism and Detention in Afghanistan, Detained by US (forthcoming).

[12] Some of the Department of Defense’s policy for determining to what degree a detainee constitutes a security threat is laid out in a 2009 internal memorandum. Memorandum, supra note 10, at 40.

[13] See infra, Basic Framework for Repatriation.

[15] National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, Pub. L. No. 112-239, § 1025, 126 Stat. 1632 (2012).

[16] Robert Chesney, The NDAA and Detention in Afghanistan: Congress Takes a Step Toward Greater Involvement, Lawfare (Dec. 20, 2012), http://www.lawfareblog.com/2012/12/the-ndaa-and-detention-in-afghanistan-congress-takes-a-step-toward-greater-involvement/.

[17] National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 § 1025(b).

[18] Id.

[19] Id.

[20] Id.

[21] Id. at §§ 1025 (a), (c). Although the executive branch may interpret these requirements more narrowly than Congress, until they are challenged they remain good law for the purposes of this analysis. For a more detailed look at some of the executive pushback, see Michael Villacres, Comment, An Imbalance of Power Between Governmental Branches?,  Detained by U.S. (Apr. 23, 2013), http://www.detainedbyU.S..org/an-imbalance-of-power-between-governmental-branches/.

[22] Memorandum, supra note 10, at 36.

[23] Id. at 41.

[24] Douglas Jehl, The Reach of War: Guantanamo; Pentagon Seeks to Shift Inmates from Cuban Base, N.Y. Times (March 11, 2005), http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9404EEDF143CF932A25750C0A9639C8B63.

[25] Memorandum, supra note 10, at 41. See also Adam Entous, Detainee Deal Stalls Taliban Talks, Wall St. J. (March 21, 2012), http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304724404577295930778549536 (noting that the Secretary of Defense vetoed the transfer of five Guantanamo detainees to Qatar because insufficient security assurances had been provided).

[26] See The Guantanamo Docket: Detainees Recommended for Prosecution, N.Y. Times, http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/recommended-for-prosecution (last visited Nov. 11, 2013) [hereinafter Docket]. My research did not reveal any cases of detainees at Bagram being transferred to a third country.

[27] See Memorandum, supra note 10, at 36–37.

[28] Cable, supra note 9 (page marked “B6,” and the fifth page in the ACLU document file).

[29] Entous, supra note 25.

[30] Guantanamo Docket, supra note 26. A fifth detainee, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, was transferred to the U.S. for prosecution. Id.

[31] CNN Wire Staff, Youngest Guantanamo Detainee Pleads Guilty (October 25, 2010), http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/10/25/khadr.plea/.

[32] Luis Martinez, Omar Khadr: Guantanamo Detainee Transferred to Canada, ABC News (Sept. 20, 2012), http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/omar-khadr-guantanamo-detainee-transferred-to-canada/.

[33] U.S. Dept. of Defense, Detainee Transfer Announced (Sept. 29, 2011), http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15592.

[34] Id.

[35] CBS News, Omar Khadr to Remain in Maximum-Security Prison (Oct. 18, 2013), http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/omar-khadr-to-remain-in-maximum-security-prison-1.2125461.

[36] Khadr v. Edmonton Institution, 2013 ABQB 611 (Can.).

[37] Id.

[38] Rebecca Ruiz, Guantanamo Detainee Who Served bin Laden Returns to Sudan, NBC News (July 11, 2012), http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/07/11/12684239-guantanamo-detainee-who-served-bin-laden-returns-to-sudan.

[39] Id.

[40] Id.

[41] Letter from Karen Lass, Regional Security Officer, U.S. Embassy Khartoum, Sudan (June 28, 2010), available at http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/gitmoletter.pdf (attaching a document from the National Intelligence Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum outlining how the NISS will monitor persons released from Guantanamo into Sudanese custody) [hereinafter NISS].

[42] NISS, supra note 41.

[43] Id.

[44] Id.

[45] Id.

[46] Id.

[47] Id.

[48] Josh White &William Branigin, Former Bin Laden Driver Hamdan to Leave Guantanamo Bay for Yemen, Wash. Post (Nov. 25, 2008), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/24/AR2008112403159.html.

[49] Id.

[50] Id.

[51] Id.

[52] Spencer S. Hsu, Guantanamo Detainee Returns to Australia, Wash. Post (May 21, 2007), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/20/AR2007052001409.html.

[53] Id.

[54] Exec. Order No. 13,567, 76 Fed. Reg. 13,277 (Mar. 7, 2011). Congress imposed additional restrictions in 2011. National Defense Authorization Act of 2011, Pub. L. No. 111-383, § 1205, 124 Stat. 4137 (2010).

[55] Charlie Savage, Obama Lifts Moratorium on Transfer of Detainees, N.Y. Times (May 23, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/us/politics/obama-lifts-moratorium-on-transfer-of-some-detainees.html?_r=0.

[56] Nedra Pickler, Obama Lifts Ban on Guantanamo Transfers to Yemen, Associated Press  (May 23, 2013), http://news.yahoo.com/obama-lifts-ban-guantanamo-transfers-yemen-205540363.html.

[57] See, e.g., Andy Worthington, With Indefinite Detention and Transfer Bans, Obama and the Senate Plumb New Depths on Guantánamo (Dec. 28, 2010), http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2010/12/28/with-indefinite-detention-and-transfer-bans-obama-and-the-senate-plumb-new-depths-on-guantanamo/.

[58] Pickler, supra note 56.

[59] For a detailed discussion on U.S.-Yemeni relations see Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield (2013).

[60] For a more in depth look at the case of Anwar al-Awlaki, see Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage & Scott Shane, How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Crosshairs, N.Y. Times (March 9, 2013), http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/world/middleeast/anwar-al-awlaki-a-us-citizen-in-americas-cross-hairs.html?_r=0. See also Scahill, supra note 59, at 67, 361–62.

[61] Scahill, supra note 59, at 184–85.

[62] The area was also where Awlaki’s tribe resides. Id. at 235.

[63] Id.

[64] Pierre Thomas & Chris Good, US Says 4 Americans Killed by Drones in Counterterror Strikes, ABC News (May 22, 2013), http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/eric-holder-americans-killed-drones/story?id=19236300.

[65] Peter Finn, Awlaki Directed Christmas ‘Underwear Bomber’ Plot, Justice Department Memo Says, Wash. Post (Feb. 12, 2012), http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-02-10/world/35445837_1_awlaki-cia-drone-strike-justice-department-memo; but see Paula Newton, CNN Exclusive: Al-Awlaki’s Father Says Son is ‘Not Osama bin Laden’, cnn.com (Jan. 11, 2010), http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/01/10/yemen.al.awlaki.father/.

[66] Anahad O’Conor & Eric Schmitt, Terror Attempt Seen as Man Tries to Ignite Device on Jet, N.Y. Times (Dec. 26, 2009), http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9401E4DE1631F935A15751C1A96F9C8B63&ref=umarfaroukabdulmutallab.

[67] Pickler, supra note 56.

[68] See Guantanamo Review Task Force, Final Report (January 22, 2010) available at http://www.justice.gov/ag/guantanamo-review-final-report.pdf. [This cite still needs a pinpoint page for the proposition in the text.]

[69] Yemen Chronology, topics.newyorktimes.com (last visited Oct. 28, 2013), http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/yemen/.

[70] See, e.g., News Conference by the President, The White House (April 30, 2013), http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/04/30/news-conference-president.

[71] See Jasmine Coleman, Guantanamo Bay: Why Are So Many Inmates From Yemen? BBC News (May 24, 2013), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22661053.

[72] This point is echoed in JPP, supra note 2, at 35.