Phone calls by two British ISIS jihadists were enough to give away their location to intelligence sources, resulting in their assassination by drone. The British Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) was able to locate the Jihadists after they called some friends back home in the UK.
On August 21st, Reyaad Khan, 21, and Rahul Amin, 26, were killed by a drone that was operated by RAF pilots roughly 3,000 miles away. One of the men made a telephone call that was intercepted, allowing the security staff at GCHQ to find their location.
British Intelligence agents found the car that the two men were traveling in, and the car was bombed with Hellfire missiles via an unmanned MQ-9 Reaper drone.
For more than a month prior to the attack, the two men had been watched by the SAS, MI6, and the CIA. Experts from GCHQ had been monitoring their phone conversations.
Three days after the August 21st attack, another man, Junaid Hussain, was killed by a United States drone in a joint operation with the UK.
When it was revealed that Kahn, who was from Cardiff, had been assassinated, claims of extrajudicial killing were quick to occur.
However, British Prime Minister David Cameron stated that these attacks were an act of necessary self-defense. He stated that Khan and Hussain were plotting attacks against “high-profile public commemorations” throughout the summer, including VJ Day last month and the VE day commemorations.
Cameron has been working to persuade the British Parliament to vote for increased military involvement against ISIS in Syria.
When asked if he would do it again, Cameron stated, “If it is necessary to safeguard the UK and act in self-defense, and there are no other ways of doing it, then yes, I would. The choice we were left with was to think, this is all too difficult, throw up our arms and walk away, and then wait for the chaos and terrorism to hit Britain, or to take action in the national interest.”
Cameron went on to add that the usage of the drone was “entirely lawful”. He claims he utilized legal advice from Attorney General Jeremy Wright.
Cameron added, “We were exercising the UK's inherent right to self-defense. There was clear evidence of the individuals in question planning and directing armed attacks against the UK. These were part of a series of actual and foiled attempts to attack the UK and our allies. And in the prevailing circumstances in Syria, the airstrike was the only feasible means of effectively disrupting the attacks planned and directed by this individual. So it was necessary and proportionate for the individual self-defense of the UK.”
Despite Cameron’s insistence that the attack was lawful, other officials have been concerned since the decision was made without permission from the House of Commons. However, an SAS legal advisor was adamant that the attack was “legally sound”.
Kahn became a posterchild for ISIS after appearing in a propaganda video titled There Is No Life Without Jihad. The video urged Westerners to join ISIS. Kahn was a frequent user of Twitter, and he regularly showed graphic images and made threatening posts. He once posted horrific images of corpses of alleged ISIS victims.
Kahn tweeted, “Guys we caught and executed. This is how they looked less than an hr l8er”
In other posts, Kahn discussed the topics of decapitation and his joy in executing people.
Kahn’s Facebook page states that he was a Chelsea FC fan, and he enjoyed playing video games. The page demonstrates how quickly he changed from a typical teenage boy into a deadly jihadist.