Is the targeted assassination of terrorist suspects an effective response to terrorism?
There can be little doubt that over the last decade there has been a substantial increase in states targeting individuals engaged in terrorist activities. Israel, Russia and the United States have included targeted strikes as a weapon in their counterterrorism arsenal: Israel during the Second Intifada, Russia in its struggle against the Chechen fighters and the United States in the War on Terror. That the latter had begun to openly engage in the practice was made dramatically clear in 2002 when it used a Predator Drone in Yemen to kill Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi – an al-Qaeda operative suspected of masterminding the attack on the USS Cole in October 2000. Since then, the US has continued to use drone strikes in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region and resorted to targeting and killing Osama bin Laden with a highly trained Navy SEAL team in May 2011.