Pakistan Issues Murder Warrant for CIA Station Chief and Lawyer who Oversaw Drone Program

Friday, April 10, 2015
John Rizzo (photo: Getty Images)

A Pakistani court has issued murder warrants for two Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials involved in a deadly drone attack six years ago.


Warrants were issued for Jonathan Bank, former CIA station chief in Islamabad, and John A. Rizzo, formerly the top CIA lawyer who legally authorized drone strikes inside Pakistan.


Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad high court said both Americans should be tried for murder in connection with a December 2009 attack that reportedly killed at least three people.


Bank’s identity was first exposed in 2010 by Karim Khan, a Pakistani tribesman who took legal action against him over another drone attack in North Waziristan that he claimed killed his brother and son.


The legal move forced Bank to leave the country. He later served as head of the CIA’s Iran operations divisions at the agency’s headquarters. He now works in the U.S. military’s intelligence wing, according to Jon Boone at The Guardian.


“At the time, the outing of Bank sparked much speculation about how Khan and his lawyer Shahzad Akbar could possibly have known the identity of the CIA station chief. Many assumed Pakistan’s own spies leaked the name to punish the CIA at a time of fraught ties with the US,” Boone wrote.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Pakistan Court Says Former CIA Station Chief Will Face Charges Over Drone Strike (by Jon Boone, The Guardian)

Pakistan Judge Orders Charges Against Ex–CIA Officials Over Drone Deaths (Al Jazeera America)

Members of Congress Avoid First-Ever Testimony by Pakistani Drone War Victims (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Pakistani Journalist Sues CIA For Drone Strike That Killed Relatives (by Declan Walsh, The Guardian)

Ex-CIA Agent Accuses Top Bush Officials of Approving Kidnapping in Italy and then Abandoning those who Followed Orders (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)

Italy’s Highest Court Upholds CIA Kidnapping Convictions (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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