The U.S. government can target and kill U.S. citizens believed to be terrorists without due process, even if there is no evidence that they will be involved in a specific attack, according to a secret Justice Department white paper provided to some members of Congress and obtained by NBC News. The document shows a much more expansive justification for when the administration can target U.S. citizens with drone strikes than administration officials have discussed publicly.
"A lethal operation against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa'ida or its associated forces – a terrorist organization engaged in constant plotting against the United States, as well as an enemy force with which the United States is in a congressionally authorized armed conflict – and who himself poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States, would not violate the Constitution," the paper states.
Later in the paper, though, it defines "imminent threat" broadly: "The condition that an operational leader present an 'imminent' threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future." more >>
At least three people are believed to have been killed after a suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, with Islamic terrorist group al-Qaida believed to be the prime suspects.
The bomber, who has not yet been identified, apparently entered the embassy and got through the first X-ray machine leading to the visa section, before he detonated himself, NBC News reported. Among those killed was one of the guards at the gate, and another unidentified person is believed to have also been killed. Turkish TV showed an injured woman being carried on a stretcher to an ambulance.
As the civil war in Syria has reached "unprecedented levels of horror," according to the U.N., Christians are being forced to flee their homes as avoiding the violent conflict has become less of an option.
"It's a fight to the death which by definition involves killing. No one will win but those who fought from the start will create a desert and then call it victory," Sky News said of the war raging between army forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad and rebels bent on taking down what they say is a tyrannical regime.
The war has swept the entire nation, closing down infrastructure and businesses, and forcing many to choose a side or risk being caught in the crossfire. One of the worst attacks in the country occurred less than two weeks ago, when over 100 people were found slaughtered near the Christian-populated city of Homs. Witnesses blamed forces loyal to President Assad, who allegedly killed civilians they believed were harboring or aiding rebel soldiers. more >>
Renewed fears of large-scale violence in Egypt for today's second anniversary of the uprising that helped oust long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak were realized when Egyptian security forces fired tear gas and protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails during a day-long demonstration Thursday. Christian leaders inside and outside the country are calling for prayers.
Prominent politicians, writers and society figures have been urging Egyptians to go back to the streets to demonstrate rejection of the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, according to Open Doors USA sources inside Egypt.
A Christian leader, who regularly blogs from Egypt and remains anonymous for security reasons, says he sees "a split nation overflowing with too much frustration and anger, with hardly any positive or promising political or social development. The economy is a disaster, with our local currency's value diving deep down into the unknown." more >>
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has sparked concerns around the globe after its government claimed that its planned nuclear tests will target the U.S., which it called "the sworn enemy of the Korean people."
"Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival," read a statement from North Korea's National Defense Commission, the nation's highest government agency, as reported by ABC News and several other sources.
The U.S. has expressed fears that the Pacific nation is working toward a nuclear device that can be mounted on a long-range missile and be launched toward America. more >>
Although an incident in which dissident Eritrean soldiers seized the country's information ministry earlier this week is now being downplayed as not a coup attempt, a heightened tension between political and faith groups remains. The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors says that at least 10 leaders of churches banned by the government have been arrested.
"The arrest of 10 church leaders in Eritrea could be the start of another wave of systematic persecution in this unpredictable, tiny country bordering the Red Sea," says Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra. "The Muslim and Christian population is almost split 50-50. But President Isaias Afewerkie has targeted independent Christians over the last decade. A government official once declared there are three enemies which need to be eradicated – HIV/AIDS, the regime in Ethiopia and independent Christians."
Over the past year, Open Doors reported that 31 Christians have died in prison camps. more >>