London – CAGE supports legal efforts by American journalist Bilal Abdul Kareem to draw public attention to the recent assertion that he is on the US ‘kill list’ for drone strikes in Syria. We call for his name to removed from the list immediately.

Abdul Kareem is a journalist whose exclusive reporting is aired on YouTube as part of the well known channel On the Ground News. His work has also been used internationally and accredited by CNN, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 News.

Abdul Kareem and his team have narrowly missed several attempts on their lives, having had both their car and media offices targeted by drones and airstrikes. 

Bilal Abdul Kareem, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker told CAGE:

“What does the US government have to fear from me?  They fear the truths that we have been revealing about their “war on terror” in Syria. They fear that the American people are starting to hear that the drone program that has killed so many innocent people creates more enemies than the government could ever fight.  They are afraid that people are going to see the reality that not every Islamic fighter is planning an attack on Americans.  This is why they want me dead.”

“My religion is the most important thing to me. I also see that helping people see the truth through journalism brings them closer together rather than feeding them false narratives to keep them apart. If my religion and principals cost me my life then I’m ready for that. Until that time I will continue my work here in Syria.”

Moazzam Begg, Outreach Director, said:

“Abdul Kareem provides valuable insight into the conflict in Syria, being one of the only accredited journalists there reporting in English from the ground. His material has been widely used by mainstream media and he has become a powerful voice in the Syrian war.”

“The killing of an American journalist in the course of his work by its own government would be an unprecedented act in the War on Terror. It would send a deplorable message about the state of independent reporting in the US, which would resonate across nations.”

“In a week when the US has accepted responsibility for hundreds of deaths caused by airstrikes on civilians, it comes, unfortunately, as no surprise that it would be prepared to target one of its own nationals.

“CAGE calls for Abdul Kareem’s name to be removed from all ‘kill lists’ with immediate effect. In keeping with the rule of law, countries which provide launch-pads for extra-judicial killings risk being complicit in illegal assassinations.”

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)