The CIA has been granted the authority to kill potential terror suspects with drone strikes according to a new report.
The new authority granted shortly after Mr Trump’s inauguration takes drone strikes out of the sole control of the military. Concerns regarding accountability and transparency have been raised.
Under the drone policy of the Obama administration, the CIA could find a suspect, but the military would carry out the actual strike.
Unlike the Pentagon, the CIA does not need to disclose drone strikes or any resulting civilian casualties.
Under the intelligence agency’s new powers, a high-level al-Qaeda leader in Syria, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was killed in Syria in February, unnamed officials told the Wall Street Journal.
“There are a lot of problems with the drone program and the targeted killing program, but the CIA should be out of the business of ordering lethal strikes,” said Christopher Anders, the Deputy Director of the Washington office of the American Civil Liberties Union.
He said that while the CIA may have a role in determining the location of a strike, “that decision on whether to strike or not to strike and that order should be coming from through the military chain of command”.