An investigation of the drone strikes that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki:
“One day in early September, Abdulrahman woke up before the rest of the house. He tiptoed into his mother’s bedroom, took 9,000 Yemeni rials—roughly $40—from her purse, and left a note outside her bedroom door. He then snuck out the kitchen window and into the courtyard. Shortly after 6 am, the family’s guard saw the boy leave but didn’t think anything of it. It was Sunday, September 4, 2011, a few days after the Eid al-Fitr holiday marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Nine days before, Abdulrahman had turned 16.
“A short while later, Abdulrahman’s mother woke up. She started to rouse his siblings for morning prayers and then went to wake him, but Abdulrahman was not in his bedroom. She called for him and, while searching the house, found his note. In it, he apologized for leaving without telling her and said that he missed his father and wanted to find him. He also said he was sorry for taking the money. ‘When his mother told me about the letter, it was just like a shock for me,’ Abdulrahman’s grandmother Saleha told me. ‘I said, “I think this will be just like bait for his father.”‘ The CIA, she feared, ‘might find his father through him.’”