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Part 3 The Post 9/11-Era (2001–), 57 US Extra-Territorial Actions Against Individuals: Bin Laden, Al Awlaki, and Abu Khattalah—2011 and 2014

David Kretzmer

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 May 2024

Terrorism — Precedent — Targeted killing — Extraterritorial application of treaties — Ius in bello

This chapter discusses the targeted killing by the US of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and of Anwar al Awlaki in Yemen, and the capture of Ahmed Abu Kattalah in Libya. It presents the facts and context of the actions, the legal position of the US and other protagonists and reactions in the international community. It proceeds to discuss the arguments for and against the legality of these extra-territorial actions by the US under law regarding use of force (but not under ius in bello). In the final section it is argued that rather than having precedential value the actions and reactions in these cases serve to emphasize the wide gap that exists in the different perceptions of states and scholars regarding the law on the extra-territorial use of force against terrorist groups or other groups of non-state actors.

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