Speaking passionately in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Nasser al-Awlaki talked on television for the first time about the drone strike that killed his 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman. The teenager, an American citizen born in Denver, was killed by a U.S. missile in 2011.
"I want to know why Abdulrahman was killed," al-Awlaki said via satellite from Cairo. You can watch the full interview here:
The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights represent Nasser al-Awlaki in a lawsuit challenging the targeted killing of Abdulrahman as well as two other Americans killed by a drone strike two weeks earlier: Abdulrahman's father Anwar and Samir Khan.
Later in the show, the ACLU's Hina Shamsi debated Columbia Law School Professor Matthew Waxman, a former Bush administration official.
"There are extraordinary circumstances in which the government may use lethal force in response to an actual, concrete, and imminent threat – and those circumstances were not met in the case of any of the three citizens that we brought the lawsuit regarding," said Shamsi.
"They are specifically called into question when you look at the case of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16-year-old boy eating dinner outside. No one has made any allegation that he was engaged in wrongdoing, and his case is representative of either a wrongful targeting or the case of a civilian bystander being killed…the lawsuit is an effort to provide transparency about the vague legal criteria the government is using and the basis on which it is carrying out that program."
You can watch the full debate here: