UK faces 'wave' of drone strike claims
20 June 2012
The UK is likely to face a fresh 'wave' of legal actions over allegations that it share's intelligence used to aid America's overseas drone strikes, according to an expert reviewing the UK's terror laws.
David Anderson QC, who is conducting an independent review of terror laws for the UK Home Office, told the Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights that the current public allegations against the government were unlikely to be the last.
"It would be nice to believe that there is a very short or small number of cases that will soon go away," Anderson told the committee during its investigation into the government's secret justice bill.
"I suspect that is not the case, and we are already beginning to see the start of a second wave of cases concerning the alleged complicity in the targeting of drones," he said. "I can only imagine those cases may raise similar sorts of issues."
The US uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, to carry out the 'extrajudicial killing' of terror suspects in areas of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. The drones target individuals named on a 'kill list' authorised by President Barack Obama, it was revealed earlier this year, but the US government says the strikes are legal because they consider them to be acts of war against 'enemy combatants'.
In April it was reported that Noor Khan, a student whose father was killed in a suspected US drone strike in Pakistan last year, is seeking a judicial review to force the UK to disclose whether it shared intelligence with the United States which could have been used to aid the attacks.
Khan's father Daud was killed in a suspected drone strike in Datta Khel, North Waziristan, on 17 March last year, along with around 40 other people.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "Drone attacks are a matter for the US.
"Also, as there is currently an ongoing court case in the UK about drone attacks it would be inappropriate to comment further."