Missing the Mark

A sampling of post-9/11 assassination strikes.

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DATE

LOCATION

IMPLEMENT

TARGET

RESULT

June
2007

Northern Somalia

Cruise missiles launched from a U.S. warship

Militants fighting for Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union

Killed 8 suspected fighters, according to Somali officials.

January
2007

Southern Somalia

AC-130

Sheik Ahmed Madobe, senior leader of Islamic Courts Union

Missed target. Reports of many civilian deaths.

January
2007

Southern Somalia

AC-130

Aden Hashi Ayro, senior leader of Islamic Courts, suspected in murder of aid workers

Reportedly wounded Ayro and killed dozens of civilians.

October
2006

Town of Khar, Pakistan-Afghan border

MQ-1 Predator drone/Pakistani military helicopter strike

Maulana Liaquat, seminary leader, and Maulana Faqir Muhammad, cleric, alleged Taliban recruiters

Missed Muhammad. Killed a total of 82 people, including Liaquat.

December
2005

Predator

North Waziristan, Pakistan

Abu Hamza Rabia, senior Al Qaeda leader

Killed Rabia, his Syrian bodyguards, and 2 children

May
2005

North Waziristan, Pakistan

Predator

Haitham al-Yemeni, Al Qaeda leader

Killed Yemeni

June
2004

South Waziristan, Pakistan

Predator, according to local witnesses

Nek Muhammad, former Taliban commander

Killed Muhammad and 4 other men eating dinner together

April
2003

Basra, Iraq

Predator

Ali Hassan al-Majid, a.k.a. Chemical Ali, Iraqi military commander

Fired at wrong location. Killed at least 17 civilians.

November
2002

Marib Province, Yemen

Predator

Qaed Senyan al Harthi, suspected mastermind of USS Cole bombing

Killed al Harthi, and 5 others in his car who were allegedly low-level Al Qaeda operatives

February
2002

Zhawar Kili compound, Afghanistan

Predator

Tall man “treated with deference by others,” thought to be Osama bin Laden

Killed 3 peasants picking through garbage

November
2001

Near Kabul, Afghanistan

Predator

Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda military commander

Killed Atef, and as many as 50 others

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