Summary: American ex-drone operators file legal brief in support of Yemeni drone victim’s lawsuit

8th September 2016: Brandon Bryant, Lisa Ling and Cian Westmoreland, all of whom have worked on the Obama Administration’s drone programme, have filed a legal brief in support of Faisal bin ali Jaber, a Yemeni environmental engineer whose family members were killed in a 2012 US drone strike. Mr Jaber is jointly represented by SRT grantee Reprieve and law firm Lewis Baach pllc. The three ex-drone operators are represented by attorneys at the Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR).

Mr Jaber’s brother-in-law Salem and his nephew Waleed died in an August 2012 strike on their village. Salem was an anti-al Qaeda imam who is survived by a widow and seven young children; Waleed was a 26 year-old police officer with a wife and infant child. Mr Jaber is seeking an official apology and declaration of error for his relatives’ deaths.

Leaked intelligence indicates that US officials knew they had killed civilians shortly after the strike on Mr Jaber’s family. In July 2014, the family was offered a plastic bag containing $100,000 in sequentially-marked US dollar bills at a meeting with the Yemeni National Security Bureau (NSB). The NSB official who had requested the meeting told a family representative that the money came from the US and that he had been asked to pass it along.

Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, Reprieve US attorney for Mr Jaber, said, “Unlike Western victims of drone strikes, Faisal has not received an apology. He simply wants the US Government to tell the truth and say sorry – it is a scandal that he has been forced to turn to the courts for this most basic expression of human decency.”

Full coverage from Reprieve’s website:

Return to grantee stories