DENVER (CBS4)– The death of an American citizen and Colorado-born teenager who was killed by a U.S. military drone attack in Yemen is drawing criticism.
Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki and his father, Anwar Al-Awlaki, were both killed in targeted drone strikes.
Abdulrahman was 16. He is the youngest American to be killed as a result of a targeted U.S. drone strike.
He was born in Colorado and his birth certificate shows Denver as his place of birth.
He and a cousin were killed in Oct. 2011 when a drone killed a suspected Al-Qaida figure they were with.
Abdulrahman’s father was killed two weeks earlier in a separate drone attack. He was considered a terrorist who urged attacks on America, the country where he grew up.
Dr. Heather Roff Perkins is a visiting professor at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies.
“Anwar Al-Awlaki’s son has become an example of the questions we need to raise as an American people and public and about how these decisions to target citizens abroad are being made,” said Perkins.
Anwar Al-Awlaki studied engineering at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He was a religious leader at a mosque in Denver.
It’s his son’s death that has drawn wide criticism. There have been protests in the streets of Yemen and memorials on Facebook and throughout the Internet.
During the confirmation hearing for John Brennan to become director of the CIA, Brennan insisted the use of such drone attacks do not violate the law.
“The president has insisted that any actions we take be legally grounded,” said Brennan.