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US counter terrorism advisor defends 'tremendously capable tool' drone attacks against militants

Washington, Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 30 (ANI): White House counter terrorism advisor John Brennan has defended the administration's campaign of using armed drones to target terrorism suspects, calling it a 'tremendously capable tool' against terrorists.

"Drones, the remotely piloted vehicles, [are] a tremendously capable tool to use against the terrorist abroad. It has capability to monitor their activities," Brennan said during an interview with Fox News.

"It provides a good insight to our intelligence analysts and operators in terms of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. It has the capability of carrying out strikes as well," he added.

When questioned about a recent decision by President Barack Obama to give the Central Intelligence Agency and the military broader authority to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, Brennan said such strikes are always done with approval of the countries where they take place.

He, however, stopped short of saying that local authorities had advance notice of each specific strike.

"When we're doing this, we are doing it in full consent and cooperation with our partners internationally," The Politico quoted Brennan, as saying.

"This is something that the president has told us we need to work closely with these partners. And so, in Yemen in particular, these groups, and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in particular, are determined to kill Americans," Brennan added.

Meanwhile, when asked about Brennan's statements, a White House spokesman, Tommy Vietor, said the counter terrorism adviser 'was talking about drones as a tool in the abstract.' (ANI)

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