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Tipsheet

Not a Terrorist? The Biden Team Killed the Wrong Person Again

AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel

What do you expect from a man who’s been on the wrong side of every major American foreign policy initiative over the past 40 years? We’re talking about the man who didn’t want to send US Navy Seals into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Joe Biden’s foreign policy is littered with incompetence, which goes double when hunting and killing radical Islamic terrorists. In Syria, the Biden administration announced that they had killed a top-level al-Qaeda official, only to walk that back when it turned out they killed the wrong guy (via WaPo): 

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U.S. military officials are walking back claims that a recent strike in Syria killed an influential al-Qaeda figure, following assertions by the dead man’s family that he had no ties to terrorists but was a father of 10 tending to his sheep when he was slain by an American missile.

Lotfi Hassan Misto, 56, whose family identified him as the victim of a Hellfire missile attack on May 3, was a former bricklayer who lived quietly in this town in northwest Syria, according to interviews with his brother, son and six others who knew him. They described a kind, hard-working man whose “whole life was spent poor.” 

The operation was overseen by U.S. Central Command, which claimed hours after the strike, without citing evidence or naming a suspect, that the Predator drone strike had targeted a “senior Al Qaeda leader.” But now there is doubt inside the Pentagon about who was killed, two U.S. defense officials told The Washington Post. 

“We are no longer confident we killed a senior AQ official,” one official said. The other, offering a slightly different view, said “though we believe the strike did not kill the original target, we believe the person to be al-Qaeda.” Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss preliminary determinations of an ongoing investigation into the incident. 

In the weeks since the attack, U.S. military officials have refused to identify publicly who their target was, how the apparent error occurred, whether a legitimate terrorist leader escaped and why some in the Pentagon maintain Misto was a member of al-Qaeda despite his family’s denials. 

In a statement, Michael Lawhorn, a spokesman for Central Command, said officials are aware of reports of a civilian casualty and continue to assess the outcome.

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This isn’t the first time. Biden launched a drone strike that killed a humanitarian aid worker and scores of innocent civilians, including several children, during our ignominious withdrawal from Afghanistan in August of 2021. No one was ever held accountable for the botched air strike. The Biden team touts this ‘over the horizon’ capability to hunt down America’s enemies, but what good is it with Mr. Magoo calling the shots? It’s useless if we’re not killing terrorists or, worse, killing the wrong people. Biden is comically inept when it comes to hunting terrorists, and it appears to be a systemic problem among his entire national security team.

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