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Potential Target Facilitating Operations
By Harold Hutchison

A senior member of al-Qaeda is planning new attacks. His target: The United States of America. However, the Obama Administration has been debating for the last six months whether or not to take him out.

According to multiple media reports, the operations planner in question is an American citizen who had a long-standing relationship with Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a 2011 UAV strike, along with Samir Khan, the editor of Inspire magazine, an English-language publication put out by al-Qaeda. Both were American citizens.

The unidentified facilitator is in Pakistan, and reportedly is in a remote location and heavily guarded. Last year, Barack Obama scaled back the drone program, largely due to protests against the strikes. Aside from al-Awlaki and Khan, only two other American citizens have died in UAV strikes, and neither of them were targeted.