Ahmed Buckley Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt
18 Zahraa Street (Apartment 2), Nerco Buildings, El-Shatr El-Khamis, New Maadi, Cairo, Egypt
Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Resorting to targeted killings as a measure of counterterrorism spawned a debate on their legality under both international human rights law and humanitarian law. This article attempts to justify the measure under the current body of international humanitarian law. It also claims that discrete acts of targeted killings may be legal provided the existence of specific circumstances and conditions. These conditions, however, make it extremely difficult for a State to legally pursue a 'policy' of targeted killings against alleged terrorists, unless they are considered 'legal combatants.' The article criticizes the practice of labelling terrorists as 'unlawful combatants' unworthy of protections afforded by both international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and argues the lack of compelling legal arguments that would prevent terrorists from being considered as lawful combatants in an armed conflict. Light is also shed on the United States' recent expansion of the drone program in a way that might indicate a gradual acceptance of the terrorist-as-combatant theory.
Keywords : Targeted Killings, Drone Strike, Al-Qaeda, War against Terrorism, Unlawful Combatant, Third Geneva Convention
The Full Text is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.14330/jeail.2012.5.2.06