Saudi Arabian officials have given the US spy agency CIA permission to build an assassination drone base there on the condition that the kingdom’s role remains concealed.
US-born cleric Anwar Awlaki was assassinated by CIA drone strikes in September 2011.
In a detailed report on the Obama administration’s secret and illegal bid to assassinate three American citizens in Yemen in 2011, major US daily The New York Times further emphasizes that following a “very quiet” effort by the CIA to establish its own terror drone base in Saud Arabia, officials of the despotic Persian Gulf kingdom also gave the spy agency a free hand in launching lethal operations from its soil.
The Sunday report adds that while the government of neighboring Djibouti, where the US military has also built a major assassination drone base, “put tight restrictions on any lethal operations carried out from its soil,” the Saudi officials made no such demands.
The report further reveals that the CIA recruited Saudi spies and operatives to track down US-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen to facilitate his assassination by American terror drones.
According to the report, in late September 2011, “the CIA base in Saudi Arabia was ready” and US President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser at the time, John Brennan, “directed that lead responsibility for the Awlaki hunt would be shifted [from the US military] to the [CIA] agency.”
David Petraeus, who had taken over as the CIA director on September 6, the report notes, “ordered several drones to be relocated from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia” and on September 30 “the fleet of drones” arrived above the Yemeni Jawf Province, “guided by the [Saudi] tipster” and destroyed the convoy carrying Awlaki.
The report also mentions that the assassinated Yemeni cleric and his aide, also a US-born citizen, never committed any acts of terrorism and merely operated websites that “incited” what American officials regarded as anti-US feelings and operations.
The US terror operations against its own citizens, Awlaki, his aide and his son, came despite the constitutionally-protected ‘right of free expression.’
Awlaki reportedly argued that US was bent on waging a global war on the religion of Islam and called on Muslims to resist the effort.