Though it reportedly happened months ago, the Obama administration just this morning (Thursday) revealed that two Western hostages held by terrorist kidnappers in Pakistan were killed in a strike on al-Qaeda by a U.S drone. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is “the first known instance in which the U.S. has accidentally killed a hostage in a drone strike.”
“The mishap represents a major blow to the Central Intelligence Agency and its covert drone program in Pakistan, which President Barack Obama embraced and expanded after coming to office in 2009.”
The two hostages reportedly killed in the January incident near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border have been identified as Warren Weinstein, an American, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian. The strike on the suspected terrorist compound is also said to have killed al-Qaeda leader Ahmed Farouq, another American citizen. A separate strike in January reportedly led to the death of American-born al-Qaeda spokesman Adam Gadahn.
A USA Today article on the accidental deaths of the two hostages — both of whom had been held captive for years — notes that President Obama just recently decided to release the information, which had heretofore been classified.
Read more: westernjournalism.com