AG Eric Holder defends killing al-Qaeda operative

March 5, 2012 4:10:44 PM PST
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at Northwestern University Monday where he defended the Obama administration's decision to target and kill American citizens who practice terrorism overseas.

In his speech at Northwestern's law school, Holder broke the administration's silence on what it says is legal justification for killing American-born al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year.

"It is entirely lawful to target specific senior operational leaders of al-Qaeda and associated forces," Holder said.

Anwar al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and preached at an Islamic center in suburban Washington DC before going to the Middle East.