"In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon, some attention has been focused upon the assassination ban contained in Executive Order (E.O.) 12333, Section 2.11, and whether it would prohibit the United States from responding to the attacks by targeting those who orchestrated these acts of terrorism. In considering the challenges involved in effectively combating terrorism and protecting the United States from future terrorist attacks, there has been wide-ranging debate as to what approaches might be beneficial. Part of that discussion has centered around whether assassination of terrorist leaders is, or should be, one of the options available. This report offers a summary discussion of the assassination ban in E.O. 12333, its context, and possible interpretations of its scope."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21037