David Cloud, 7/5/10
The CIA received secret permission to attack a wider range of targets, including suspected militants whose names are not known, as part of a dramatic expansion of its campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan’s border region, current and former counter-terrorism officials say. The expanded authority, approved two years ago by the Bush administration and continued by Barack Obama, permits the agency to rely on what officials describe as ”pattern-of-life” analysis, using evidence collected by surveillance cameras on the unmanned aircraft and from other sources about individuals and locations. The information was used to target suspected militants, even when their full identities were not known, the officials said. Previously the CIA was restricted in most cases to killing only individuals whose names were on an approved list.