The head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in an American drone strike in northern Pakistan late last week. Mehsud can now be added to an impressive list of senior terrorists killed in the U.S. drone war. But how effective are such decapitation strikes?
Secretary of State John Kerry gave several TV interviews while in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, including one to Mariam Chaudhry of Pakistan TV. One question related to the drone policy of the United States, which is extremely unpopular in Pakistan. In his answer, Kerry seemed to suggest the program, which he said President Obama has "really narrowed," has almost accomplished its goals, not just in Pakistan, but throughout the world [emphasis added]:
The State Department announced Monday a total of up to $23 million in rewards for information on terrorists in West Africa, the first time the Department's Rewards for Justice program has offered rewards in that part of the continent.
Senator Ted Cruz praised Senator Rand Paul on the Senate floor today for his filibuster. "Your standing here today like a modern Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," said Cruz, referencing the famous film, "must surely be making Jimmy Stewart smile."
Iran is claiming to have successfully "hunted" an American drone, according to a piece in the regime organ Fars News Agency. The propaganda outlet claims that this is the first time Iran has shot down an American drone.
The U.N. wants to use drones, the French news agency Agence France-Presse reports. "The United Nations wants to use drones for the first time to monitor fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where Rwanda has been accused of aiding rebels," says the report, quoting U.N. officials.
Noah Shachtman reports for Wired that "A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America’s Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots’ every keystroke as they remotely fly missions over Afghanistan and other warzones."
The New York Times reports that al Qaeda's number 2, Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, has been killed by a CIA drone:
A drone operated by the Central Intelligence Agency killed Al Qaeda’s second-ranking figure in the mountains of Pakistan on Monday, American and Pakistani officials said Saturday, further damaging a terrorism network that appears significantly weakened since the death of Osama bin Laden in May.