Monday, November 5, 2007

A State's Right to Assassination Against Terrorists

Michael Walzer from Princeton University, USA in his work Just and Unjust War argues that assassination of terrorist leaders is a form of extreme law-enforcement. Professor Louis Rene Beres from Perdue University USA strongly argues that though assassination is normally illegal under international law, limited support for assassination can be found in Aristotle's Politics, Plutarch's Lives and Cicero's De Offices. Prof. Beres argues that;

i. No crime without punishment is a sacred principle of international law.

ii. Where known perpetrators of crimes cannot be punished through normal judicial remedy (i.e. extradition and prosecution) the criminals have to be punished extra-judicially, and assassination may be the least injurious form of such punishment.

iii. The right of self defence as codified in article 51 of the UN Charter and customary right of anticipatory and preemptive attack could include assassination as a distinct law enforcing measure. Justification sought in such assassinations must have the two essential invariants that they must be terrorists and their crimes cannot be remedied through normal judicial process.

Beres further states that “Lacking any central institutions of global authority to interpret and enforce the rules against terrorism, the existing law of nations must continue to rely on even the most objectionable forms of self-help”.

Some International Examples of Assassinations by States against Terrorists;

  • British Commando raid to assassinate German General Alfred Rommel during World War II(Charles Foley’s Legion for the Survival of Freedom. 1992, page 155)
  • Phoenix Program of US Military assassinated 1800 Viet Kong Leaders per day.
  • Israel Defence Force’s targeting of Hamas Leaders
  • From 1991 to 2006, Russia assassinated Chechnyan leaders including Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev.
  • CIA assisted assassination of Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic
  • 1960 Eisenhower administration ordered assassination of Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba
  • Eight different attempts by the CIA to kill Fidel Castro
  • Assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and Che Guevara
  • Reagan administration's air strikes to kill Libya's Qaddafi killing his baby daughter instead.
  • Assassination of Fathi Shiqaqi, leader of the terrorist group Islamic Holy War by Israeli Intelligence in Malta on October 26th 1995.
  • Assassination in March 2005 Haitham al-Yemeni of Al-Qaeda in northwestern Pakistan.
  • Assassination on 3rd December 2005 of Al Qaeda’s Abu Hamza Rabia while sleeping in a small village in Northern Pakistan.
  • Assassination attempt in Damadola village Pakistan of Al Qaeda’s Number two Ayman al-Zawahiri killing 18 civilians instead.
  • Assassination on 3rd November 2002 of Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, an al-Qaeda leader responsible for the USS Cole bombing in Yemen.

1. Beres, Louis. Rene. Assassination Of Terrorists May Be Law-Enforcing. Purdue University. 1995.

2. Masud Kazi, Anwarul. Assassination As a Tool of Statecraft. The Daily Star (Bangladesh), Vol.4 nu.110, Sunday 14 September 2003


R*fard&C*ble said...


Check my name above.

We are here to 'recycle' (compare past posts of the others and what we have posted here') others' thoughts and fish for much info as possible for the LTTE.

We are professionals. We have deep knowledge and military training into gathering intelligence.

However, my second part has not got much brains than f*rt loud, but my first part is very intelligent.

So, this is a warning to all you blogger buggers. I am here to fish as someone said before!

I am a no friend of you neither just a military enthusiast, but LTTE crooks.


Illegal.existence said...

Dude get a frigging life.

Sam Perera said...


You sound scary. I am shivering, my knees are rattling. Just go home and fly a kite dude.

hemantha said...

Got the message. You are correct about the first and I am not sure about the second. But there is another extremely smart one not many would be able to guess.
The important thing is to not to divulge anything that would be useful to them.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


Check my name above.
i am a professional. i have deep knowledge and military training into gathering intelligence. :))

haffi birthday r*fard&c*ble. keep on dreaming keep on barking it ll give ur fat pig to multiple orgasm. :

R*fard&C*ble said...


This is a good IQ test too, about whom you are interacting with.

Some failed to get the message.

I am aware of the other too. H/She is trying though pathetically.. Let him/her dance too ;-)

S/He is much more gay and try to educate the forum about "bad" of our leaders.. to get the bloggers here turn away from our leaders..

The suckers dream!

But be aware of these who come here to ask about number of ships, aircraft, guns, strategy to UAV types etc. etc.

NOLTTE=Peace said...


Nice article.

To safeguard the lives of 19M people, a legitimately elected government has to take extreme measures.

There should be no question about it.

We are 30 years behind in eliminating the LTTE leadership. It should be decapitated to end this meaningless war!

NOLTTE=Peace said...


The Army Spokesperson Udaya Nanayakkara needs to go back to his barracks.

Someone who is well-trained about handling media should be put in that place.

First, he has to learn to listen to the questions before answering. Second, his answers 'should not bypass the brain'.

NOLTTE=Peace said...

I saw an article recently about GOSL considering banning LTTE.

I would like to see an intelligent debate here to understand the implications of such ban.


Can you please facilitate that discussion?

NOLTTE=Peace said...

A great article is appearing in today's Divaina..

NOLTTE=Peace said...

This is a long-due article from generally LTTE sympathetic AFP. This article looks like it bypassed the LTTE payrolled South Asian Sub Desk.

A great article..

mottapala said...

If the government is going to assasinate persons who endanger the country and its people I would like to add to the list the following.

1. Ranil Wickramasinhge
2. Mervin Silva
Then Comes VP!

I like VP. He does not stab in the back. He is direct. And we know that he is a designated enemy of Sri Lanka. He has a vision.

Defencewire said...

Please focus your discussion to the points that are relevant or in response to the articles published. WE DO NOT TOLERATE HATE-SPEECH OF ANY NATURE.

Renegade! said...

Looks like this coward r*fard&c*ble,has got all his boonies mixed-up..first of all,i don't use a n alias,unlike the above mentioned-TROLL,is it?.& if this TROLL thinks that i'm hear to gather info for the LTTE,well-you do have very far-reaching fantasies..& for the record,i do have friends/ppl in the armed services as well.this blog is for me to discuss with other like-minded military enthusiasts(i'm sure the TROLL must be frowning-keep frowning,coward!)on defence-related matters,& to expose corrupt activities of anyone doing fishy things..

& Hemantha,et all,if you are gonna fall for this TROLL,well that's upto you..if you want to blindly follow a blind person,well-i guess that's your choice..sorry,defencewire for posting an unnnecessary 'reply',to a fictitious TROLL,but I felt like it..

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