The White House has announced this morning that two hostages being held by al Qa’ida were accidentally killed in a drone strike as part of a U.S. counter-terrorism operation in January and said they believe that two additional Americans were also killed in recent operations.

The two hostages were Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held by al-Qa’ida since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national who had been an al-Qa’ida hostage since 2012.

According to the White House, Ahmed Farouq, an American who was an al-Qa’ida leader, was killed in the same operation that resulted in the deaths of Dr. Weinstein and Mr. Lo Porto.  Additionally, the White House said that Adam Gadahn, an American who became a prominent member of al-Qa’ida, was killed in January, believe to be in a separate U.S. Government counter-terrorism operation.  It is said that Farouq and Gadahn were not specifically targeted.  If they were targeted, it could raise concerns about the United State’s government intentionally targeting American citizens with drone strikes.

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