Jewish World Review
http://www.jewishworldreview.com | (UPI) -- The White House has drawn up a "high-value target" list of al Qaida leaders and other terrorists the Central Intelligence Agency is authorized to kill without seeking additional authority if their capture is impractical, it was reported Sunday.
Among the two-dozen targets is Osama bin Laden, the head of al Qaida, and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, unidentified officials told The Washington Post.
The whereabouts of both men is not known, neither is it clear if bin Laden is alive and in hiding.
Independent confirmation of the report was not immediately available.
According to the report, officials said the list would be updated periodically, and the authority to kill terrorist leaders around the world was not limited to just "the worst of the worst."
The authority to conduct the killings if civilian casualties could be minimized was given by President George W. Bush, who designated the terrorist leaders enemy combatants.
The executive order banning assassinations of political leaders, however, was not waived, the officials reportedly said.
Al Qaida leader Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, believed to have helped plan the 2000 attack on the destroyer USS Cole, was killed in Yemen in November by a missile fired from a CIA-operated drone aircraft.
CIA Director George Tenet said last week that more than one-third of al Qaida's leaders have been killed or captured since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom last year and more than 3,000 of its members or associates have been detained worldwide.
Enduring Freedom was the U.S. military response to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and led to the overthrow of the Islamist Taliban regime in Afghanistan and the rout of al Qaida terrorists based in that country.
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