Killing Americans: On uncharted ground in attack

Killing Americans

President Barack Obama steered the nation's war machine into unexplored territory Friday when a U.S. drone attack a convoy in Yemen and killed two American citizens who had develop into central figures in al-Qaida.

It was believed to be the first instance in which a U.S. citizen was tracked and execute based on secret intelligence and the president's say-so. And it raised main questions about the limitations of presidential power.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the target of the U.S. drone attack, was one of the best-known al-Qaida figures after Osama bin Laden, American intelligence officials had linked him to two nearly catastrophic attacks on U.S.-bound planes, an airliner on Christmas 2009 and cargo planes previous year the second American killed in the drone attack, Samir Kahn, was the editor of Inspire, a slick online publication aimed at al-Qaida sympathizers in the West.

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