Washington: US will hit al Qaeda targets
anywhere in the world, including in countries unable or
unwilling to act themselves, top White House counter-terrorism
adviser John Brennan has said.
The use of military force against al Qaeda is not
restricted only to hot battlefields like Afghanistan, Brennan
declared in a lecture at the Harvard law school, adding that
US can take pre-emptive action against suspects who pose an
imminent threat to it, anywhere in the world.
Laying out what he called the Osama bin Laden raid
doctrine, Brennan said that under international law US has the
right to take pre-emptive action whenever it foresaw any
threat to it, the New York Times reported.
Brennan said America`s anti-terror campaign must go
beyond Afghanistan, but legal curbs could out constraints.
America`s right to unilateral action, he said, does not
mean that US would use military force indiscriminately.
"International legal principles including respect for states`
sovereignty impose constraints on our ability.
The paper quoted official as saying that Obama team was
divided on the legal leeway the US had in killing Islamists
militants in Yemen and Somalia.
NYT said the discussions pivotal to the future course of
anti-terror fight centred on the extent to which Washington
could escalate drone strikes, cruise missiles or commando
raids from current high-value al Qaeda targets to hit
thousands of extremists foot soldiers.
Brennan also sharply criticised a proposal in the Senate
version of the 2012 defence authorisation bill that would
require terrorism suspects arrested inside the US to be
transferred to military custody.
Calling the idea a non-starter, he said, the White House
would fight the proposal vigorously.