Mike Rogers, perhaps bolstered by the Administration’s insistence that he can say all he wants about drone targeting without it amounting to “admission” of the program for FOIA purposes, ran his mouth the other day about whether any Americans are currently on the kill list.
“There is no list where Americans are on the list,” House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers told National Journal. Still, he suggested, that could change.
“Some notion that every American would even rise to the list by just going over and even signing up is, candidly, just not the truth,” Rogers said.
Awlaki, Rogers said, was unique among homegrown terrorists—he publicly declared jihad against the United States, and he was involved in multiple terrorist-related plans, including the failed Christmas Day bombing and the Fort Hood shooting.
“What worries me is they are taking this isolated case and saying, ‘Oh well, there’s a list of Americans, and you could be on the list of Americans.’ That just simply is not how this works,” he said.
But Rogers, who said he reviews every strike after it is carried out and sends his staff to a monthly meeting with intelligence officials to ensure staffers have enough information on the strike program, cautioned that should another American citizen again attain the status Awlaki did, the U.S. government has the authority to kill him.
“If you ever got another American who rose to that same level in the ranks and leadership role in al-Qaida and they were operating in Yemen or Mali or southern Algeria or Libya, well, they’ve picked their team, and their team is al-Qaida. And the United States is in conflict with al-Qaida. In the rules of war, you’re allowed to defend yourself.”
And while the White House has no comment about Rogers running his mouth, just after he did so, the Administration announced $5 million rewards for tips leading to the capture of two American extremists, Omar Shafik Hammami and Jehad Serwan Mostafa, who have both been indicted on charges of materially supporting a terrorist organization. The Rewards for Justice descriptions, however, say Hammami and Mostafa have done more than just materially support terror.
It accuses Hammami of serving as a military leader.
In 2006, Hammami moved to Somalia where he joined and received training from Islamist militants. In 2007, Hammami began serving as a propagandist for al-Shabaab, helping to recruit English-speaking youth through his writings, rap songs, and televised statements. He also served as a military leader for al-Shabaab, and he at one time led foreign fighters under Jehad Mostafa.