Bilal Abdul Kareem

Image of a man taking photos

Bilal Abdul Kareem is a US citizen, and freelance journalist, who has reported for the BBC, Channel 4, CNN, Sky News and Al Jazeera. He travelled to Syria in 2012 to report on the conflict there and was one of the last journalists reporting from Aleppo in January 2017. In an effort to ensure all sides of the conflict are documented, Bilal has interviewed a number of the rebel groups leading the resistance against Bashar Assad.

For this, the US Government wants to kill Bilal.

A former stand-up comedian from New York City, in 2016, Bilal narrowly escaped being killed by drone strikes on five separate occasions, including two strikes on cars he was travelling in and a further two strikes on the headquarters of his news agency, On the Ground News, while he was present.

Bilal believes these attempts on his life are because his work in Syria has led the US government to the erroneous conclusion that he is a terrorist. In fact, he is a journalist who tries to capture the perspective of all parties to the Syrian conflict – even those with whom we may disagree. Bilal has no association with Al Qaeda or the Taliban and does not pose any threat, let alone an immediate threat to the United States.

As a result of the numerous attempts on his life, Bilal, with the help of Reprieve, has filed a complaint before the DC District Court in the US, seeking his constitutional right. He has asked the court for the right to challenge the US’s determination that he is a terrorist and his presumed inclusion on the US Government’s “Kill List”.

In June 2018, federal judge Rosemary Collyer denied the Government’s attempt to have the case kicked out of court, noting “Due process is not merely an old and dusty procedural obligation. Instead, it is a living, breathing concept that protects US persons from over-reaching government action even, perhaps, on an occasion of war.”