In The Frame: Data set of media reports on UK drone targeted killing

Figures for ‘In the Frame’ tables

Table 1:
Total number of articles by subject
Table 3:
Legal Commentary per subject
Table 5:
Legal Statements by subject
Table 8:
Kill List
Subjects BBC Daily Mail Guardian Times Legal discussion Legal statements No legal comment Statements that support legality Statements that suggest illegality Kill List           by subject
Khan 39 34 26 28 61 26 40 152 104 1
Amin 2 1 0 1 2 1 1 4 3 24
J Hussain 1 6 0 9 0 0 16 0 0 0
Emwazi 9 27 14 18 20 25 23 65 46 0
Jones 2 16 6 2 4 8 14 10 14 3
N Hussain 1 1 1 3 0 0 6 0 0 2
Aziz 2 3 1 2 0 1 7 1 0 0
Hostey 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Targeted Killing 8 36 22 6 42 10 20 111 112 28


Source Table 4: Legal commentary by Publication Table 9: Opinion
Statements that support legality Statements that suggest illegality Support expressed Maintains impartiality Expresses concern or criticism
BBC 77 35 0 63 1
Daily Mail 140 87 72 48 5
Guardian 67 96 3 52 16
Times 59 61 35 30 4
Total 343 279 110 193 26

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Data set of UK media articles covering UK drone targeted killing

Note: Articles from the four news outlets surveyed were included if they contained either references to the named individuals or the term ‘Syria drone targeted killing’ as well as at least two sentences about targeted killing by drone.  The data set contains 328 articles.

Date Source Article
07/05/15 Daily Mail British jihadi who fled to Syria to join ISIS after stabbing football fan in the head 
26/07/15 Times Drone strikes kill UK jihadists
26/07/15 Times Air strikes kill UK jihadists
02/08/15 Times British hacker is no3 on Pentagon kill list
09/08/15 Guardian Death of British jihadi in July drone strike raises ‘kill list’ questions
26/08/15 Daily Mail British husband of Mrs Terror is killed in drone strike
27/08/15 Times British hacker ‘killed’ in US drone strike
27/08/15 BBC UK Jihadist Junaid Hussain killed in Syria drone strike says US
27/08/15 Daily Mail Top Islamic State hacker from UK believed killed in Syria
27/08/15 Daily Mail British hacker for IS killed in US drone strike
28/08/15 Times Isis confirms Briton killed by drone
02/09/15 Times CIA drone programme targets key Isis figures
04/09/15 Times British spies and SAS pinpoint Isis for drone strikes
07/09/15 Times Green light for targeted killing from a distance’
07/09/15 BBC IS conflict: two Britons killed
07/09/15 Times Cameron reveals British drone used to kill Britons for the first time
07/09/15 BBC Family devastated and broken
07/09/15 BBC Britons killed in Syria in RAF drone strike
07/09/15 BBC Cameron confirms Brits killed
07/09/15 BBC Cardiff jihadist Reyaad Khan planned barbaric attacks
07/09/15 BBC MPs digest drone strike against Cardiff man
07/09/15 BBC Britons killed in Syria in RAF drone strike
07/09/15 BBC Cardiff jihadist Reyaad Khan killed by RAF
07/09/15 BBC One Strike what next
07/09/15 Daily Mail Wiped out by RAF team
07/09/15 Daily Mail from clean cut students
07/09/15 Daily Mail Cameron said UK drone strike killed Br IS fighters
07/09/15 Daily Mail Video: Cameron reveals
07/09/15 Daily Mail UK drone strike kills 3
07/09/15 Daily Mail Families could sue
07/09/15 Daily Mail Got what deserved: Childhood friends’ verdict
07/09/15 Guardian First killing of a Briton signals mission creep
07/09/15 Guardian Profiles of Amin, Khan and Hussain
07/09/15 Guardian Ruhul Amin and Reyaad Khan
07/09/15 Guardian Killings mark major departure
07/09/15 Guardian Right to S-D central
07/09/15 Guardian Was it lawful
07/09/15 Guardian UK forces kill Brit IS fighter
08/09/15 Times British jihadists in Syria killed by RAF drone
08/09/15 Daily Mail Ten UK jihadis on kill list
08/09/15 Daily Mail Jihadi John on kill list
08/09/15 Guardian Ministers drew up kill list
08/09/15 Guardian Drone strikes on UK jihadis raise key questions
08/09/15 Guardian UK been hunting jihadis for months
08/09/15 BBC Drone wars: Why Britain’s attack in Syria is a game changer
08/09/15 BBC Who, what, why: When it is legal to kill your own citizens
08/09/15 Guardian Death by drone challenge to liberals
08/09/15 Guardian Not long term strategy
08/09/15 BBC Fallon defends drone strike
08/09/15 BBC Father fears sons on hit list
08/09/15 Daily Mail More anti-IS strikes could target kill list
08/09/15 Daily Mail If they die, they have been asking for it
08/09/15 Guardian How UK gov decided to kill
08/09/15 Guardian Fathers fears sons on hit list
08/09/15 Guardian HR groups bring legal action
08/09/15 Guardian UK prepared to carry out more strikes
08/09/15 BBC Reyaad Khan drone death Cardiff responds
08/09/15 BBC Jihadist knew what to expect says peer
08/09/15 BBC Cover up on Reyaad Khan death
08/09/15 BBC IS conflict: Khan involvement not clear
08/09/15 BBC RAF drone strike on Reyaad Khan not personal
08/09/15 BBC Syria strike necessary to keep UK safe
08/09/15 BBC Newspaper headlines
08/09/15 BBC Cardiff jihadist drone death justified says Carlile
08/09/15 BBC IS conflict: UK would repeat strike
08/09/15 Daily Mail UK says more deadly strikes possible
08/09/15 Daily Mail More Syria strikes possible
08/09/15 Daily Mail No Tragedy: Daily Mail Comment
08/09/15 Daily Mail 350 Brit Jihadis trained in Syria
08/09/15 Guardian Editorial
08/09/15 Guardian Is this Cameron’s WMD moment
08/09/15 Guardian State sanctioned killings
08/09/15 Guardian Drone killing of Reyaad Khan? Didn’t papers cover that two months ago?
08/09/15 Guardian David Cameron faces scrutiny over drone strikes against Britons in Syria
08/09/15 Times Dead jihadist had dreams of being Britain’s first Asian PM
08/09/15 Times Striking at the source 
08/09/15 BBC Aberdeen jihadist had no fear of death
09/09/15 Daily Mail Cameron pushes for hard military intervention
09/09/15 Daily Mail Flying in to danger: Daily Mail Comment
09/09/15 Daily Mail Questions of legality over strikes on British citizens
09/09/15 Guardian Strikes must have independent scrutiny
09/09/15 Times Was the government right to order a drone strike?
09/09/15 Times Drones ready to strike again at Jihadists who threaten Britain 
09/09/15 BBC Cardiff jihadist: First minister informed
09/09/15 BBC Robertson appointed to ISC
09/09/15 BBC Newspaper headlines
09/09/15 Daily Mail Sinister yes, but it’s right to to use these spies on the sky
09/09/15 Guardianrdian Former DPP questions legality
09/09/15 Guardian Killing shocks neighbours
09/09/15 Guardian Strikes right or wrong
09/09/15 BBC Amin radicalised in Leicester
10/09/15 Guardian Former navy chief concerned
10/09/15 Guardian UK envoy makes new legal argument
10/09/15 Times Cameron backs drone strikes to kill rebel Jihadists 
10/09/15 Daily Mail Is this the moment? 
10/09/15 Daily Mail Radical killed by Britain in Syria was latest from Cardiff
10/09/15 Daily Mail Corbyn attacks Cameron
10/09/15 Times Drone attacks — should Britain make its policy public?
10/09/15 Daily Mail Sisters cryptic tribute
11/09/15 BBC Ambassador gives Iraq defence to UN
11/09/15 Daily Mail Corbyn shows some leg
11/09/15 Times Corbyn will put Britain at risk, says Cameron
12/09/15 Daily Mail Corbyn’s hard left Labour party a serious risk to national security
12/09/15 Times Isis hackers targeted ministers
12/09/15 Times Cabinet ministers emailed hacked
12/09/15 Times Dead jihadist left for Syria after failed love affair
12/09/15 Times Drone Warfare
12/09/15 Times Cabinet ministers’ email hacked by Islamic State spies
12/09/15 Daily Mail IS hackers targeted emails of government ministers
13/09/15 Times Attack of the Drones 
13/09/15 Times Sister begs PM: ‘Don’t let drones kill my brainwashed brother’
13/09/15 Times Army chief demanded legal cover for killing
13/09/15 Daily Mail Two British ISIS jihadis gave themselves away when phoned friends at home
14/09/15 Daily Mail Don’t use the Queen as an excuse to drag us to war again
14/09/15 BBC Drone wars: Today’s weapons of choice
15/09/15 BBC IS: Britons killed were cousins
15/09/15 Guardian Attorney General refuses to release
15/09/15 Daily Mail I will never love anyone but him
16/09/15 Daily Mail UK could quit human rights court
16/09/15 Guardian Tory MP casts doubt on justification for drone strikes on Britons in Syria
16/09/15 Times Spies hacked Isis phone to track British Jihadists
17/09/15 Daily Mail 330 ISIS killed in targeted strikes
17/09/15 BBC RAF strikes since 2014 have killed around 300 ISIS fighters
17/09/15 Daily Mail UK air strikes have killed 330 ISIS fighters
17/09/15 Times UK airstrikes have killed 330 Isis fighters, says Fallon
17/09/15 Times David Pannick: Drone strike a lawful response – but make the guidelines public 
18/09/15 Daily Mail MI5 and police watching 3000 homegrown terror suspects
18/09/15 Daily Mail Corbyn blames Britain and US for ISIS
24/09/15 Daily Mail Cameron faces legal challenge over secret ‘Kill Policy’
24/09/15 Daily Mail David Cameron faces legal action over drone strike on Britons
24/09/15 BBC UK drone strike subject to legal challenge by Greens
24/09/15 Times Legal challenge to drone strikes that killed UK terrorists in Syria
28/09/15 Daily Mail Revealed – the hit list
28/09/15 Times Government must justify Briton drone strikes, says Lord Falconer
29/09/15 Daily Mail ‘LOL @England’ Sally Jones mocks Cameron
30/09/15 BBC Drone strikes: do they actually work?
30/09/15 BBC Philip Hammond: Russia must confirm syria strike
04/10/15 Daily Mail Tories beef up SAS
04/10/15 Times New drones to join SAS in hunt for Jihadi John
06/10/15 Daily Mail ‘Wake up Jeremy they want to kill us!’
07/10/15 BBC Cameron defends attack on Jihadist Reyaad Khan in Syria
08/10/15 Guardian Government departments refuse to publish legal advice
23/10/15 Times RAF readies to take out Isis in Syria
28/10/15 The Times How bulk data analysis has protected Britain 
28/10/15 Times How bulk data analysis has protected Britain 
29/10/15 Guardian Parliament’s JHRC to investigate
29/10/15 BBC UK drone strike to be investigated
30/10/15 Daily Mail Ex-Morrisons supermarket security guard dubbed ‘loneliest jihadi’
02/11/15 Times Watchdog to examine UK drone strike
05/11/15 Guardian MPs ask if UK has kill list
06/11/15 Daily Mail Britain MUST start bombing ISIS in Syria
13/11/15 Daily Mail He walked out, got in the car, we took the shot
13/11/15 Guardian Debate over targeted killing remains confused
13/11/15 BBC Victims’ families react to Jihadi John killing
13/11/15 BBC US reasonably certain stike killed Jihadi John
13/11/15 BBC Jihadi John: US military news conference
13/11/15 BBC How Jihadi John tracked down in Syria
13/11/15 BBC What do we know about Jihadi John
13/11/15 BBC Jihadi John death: IS says ME killed 
13/11/15 BBC Jihadi John: US reasonably certain
13/11/15 BBC David Cameron on Jihadi John
13/11/15 BBC Operation to Kill Jihadi John
13/11/15 Daily Mail US airstrikes target Jihadi John
13/11/15 Daily Mail Kurdish forces recapture militant held towns
13/11/15 Daily Mail How we finally got Jihadi John
13/11/15 Daily Mail Turkey detainees link to Emwazi
13/11/15 Daily Mail Strike unfolded quickly
13/11/15 Daily Mail Cameron not yet clear if Jihadi John killed
13/11/15 Daily Mail British observation drone used
13/11/15 Daily Mail He died too easily: Haines’ wife
13/11/15 Daily Mail It’s far better that Jihadi John got vaporised than given day in court
13/11/15 Daily Mail Corbyn is mocked after saying Jihadi John should have been captured
13/11/15 Daily Mail US reasonably certain
13/11/15 Daily Mail US confident Emwazi killed
13/11/15 Daily Mail As Jihadi John evaporated, grieving families regret no suffering
13/11/15 Guardian Few tears, but legality matters
13/11/15 Guardian Mohammed Emwazi killed in Raqqa square
13/11/15 Guardian How US could confirm death
13/11/15 Guardian Mohammed Emwazi  – Video profile
13/11/15 Guardian Mohammed Emwazi a pawn says victim’s daughter
13/11/15 Guardian Should have faced court justice says Corbyn
13/11/15 Guardian War bigger than one man
13/11/15 Guardian Pentagon reasonably certain
13/11/15 Guardian High degree of certainty that US strike killed Mohammed Emwazi
13/11/15 Guardian Cameron says act of self defence
13/11/15 Guardian Significant blow to ISIS
13/11/15 Guardian Jihadi John’ – as it happened
13/11/15 Times Better if Emwazi was put on trial, says Corbyn 
13/11/15 Times Cameron: Emwazi drone strike was self defence
14/11/15 Times US and Britain in relentless pursuit
14/11/15 Daily Mail Good riddance but qualms: Daily Mail comment
14/11/15 Daily Mail Jihadi John death Reasonably certain
14/11/15 Times Death in Raqqa
14/11/15 Times I was hoping to look killer in the eyes, says widow of hostage
15/11/15 BBC Welsh Muslims immense fear over Paris attacks
15/11/15 Daily Mail Want to beat terror? 
15/11/15 Daily Mail Was Paris revenge for Jihadi John
15/11/15 Daily Mail Did Mail on Sunday video help nail Jihadi John?
17/11/15 Times Cameron hits back over Corbyn’s views on shoot to kill
18/11/15 Daily Mail Need for real opposition: Daily Mail Comment
18/11/15 Times Emwazi drone attack wins public support
18/11/15 Times Cage chief forced to admit attacks were inexcusable
22/11/15 Times Corbyn’s leadership explodes 
24/11/15 Daily Mail Nursery school teacher’s sons slip out to Syria
24/11/15 BBC UN resolution is extraordinary step
24/11/15 Daily Mail A suspected jihadi arrested every day
26/11/15 Daily Mail British drone strikes have killed 305 ISIS targets 
29/11/15 Times Cameron to order killing of Isis leaders
29/11/15 Times Paris has exposed Corbyn for the fool he is
30/11/15 Daily Mail Kill the bastards
30/11/15 Times The RAF’s guided missile is what Britain’s allies have their eye on
30/11/15 Times New doubts over the 70,000 rebels set to take over Syria
01/12/15 BBC Syria strikes: No Reyaad Khan inquest
03/12/15 BBC Syria air strikes: what you need to know
06/12/15 Daily Mail How crack SAS team snared Jihadi John
09/12/15 Guardian Government refusing to engage with drone strike inquiry
16/12/15 Guardian Killing justified says Fallon
20/12/15 Times I’ll still be leader in 2020. I’m not going anywhere
05/01/16 Times Scramble to find identity of masked killer in ISIS video
05/01/16 Times Boy in death video is son of British jihadi bride
12/01/16 Guardian Cameron criticised by ISC
12/01/16 BBC David Cameron defends drone strike investigations
12/01/16 BBC Cam: drone strike decisions not taken lightly
12/01/16 Daily Mail Pics emerge of Jihadi John in his combat gear
13/01/16 BBC IS conflict: Harman queries jihadist killing
17/01/16 Daily Mail 100 Britons killed waging war in Syria
20/01/16 Daily Mail ISIS praises San Bernardino pair
20/01/16 Daily Mail IS confirms death of Jihadi John
20/01/16 Guardian Isis magazine confirms death of Emwazi
20/01/16 Times Isis publishes Jihadi John’s death notice
21/01/16 Daily Mail Apologists Cage compare stike to Litvinenko
24/01/16 Times The quiet little London boy who became the world’s most wanted man
28/02/16 Times Isis turns heat on Sussex solar panels firm
10/03/16 Daily Mail ISIS staff list is leaked
10/03/16 Times Thousands of Isis recruitment files are leaked
11/03/16 BBC Three Paris attackers features in IS recruitment files
02/04/16 Times Van driver is convicted in jihadist plot to kill airman
09/04/16 Daily Mail Brits top secret kill list
01/05/16 Times Isis hackers publish hitlist of drone pilots
10/05/16 BBC Drone killings: The legal case needs clarifying
10/05/16 Daily Mail Commons committee calls for legal clarification of drone strikes
13/06/16 Times Assad’s hitlist of 25 British Isis fighters in Iraq and Syria
04/07/16 Daily Mail Majority of Muslims have met an extremist says Khan
06/07/16 Guardian None of MI5 or MI6 seniors from BAME background
30/07/16 Daily Mail Yes boys you can have sex slaves
17/08/16 Times Choudary and his web of terror 
18/08/16 BBC Going undercover against extremism
25/09/16 Times RAF drone crew divert missile to save ‘civilian’ seconds from death 
26/09/16 Daily Mail British jihadi spotted in footage linked to manchester bomber
20/10/16 Guardian Drone strike secrecy faces legal challenge
30/10/16 Daily Mail US forces operating targeted killing from UK
09/12/16 Guardian RAF urged to recruit video game players
11/01/17 BBC Basis for airstrikes on jihadis to be set out
11/01/17 Daily Mail UK can kill terrorists abroad
11/01/17 Daily Mail UK’s top law officer outlines legal basis for drone killings
11/01/17 Guardian Specific evidence not necessary for RAF drone strikes
11/01/17 Guardian Attorney General call for new legal basis for pre-emptive strikes
19/02/17 Daily Mail Spies ordered to come clean
19/02/17 Times Spies told to come clean on Cameron’s order to kill
20/02/17 Times Killing of Scottish jihadist ‘may not have been lawful’
23/02/17 Daily Mail Ministers ‘must tell public’ about drone strikes on ISIS Britons
23/02/17 Daily Mail Secret RAF drone strikes take out British jihadis: pilots working through kill list
23/02/17 Guardian MPs call on Theresa May to release kill ist 
23/02/17 Daily Mail The ISIS suicide bomber you paid £1mn
16/04/17 Daily Mail All that remained was a greasy spot
26/04/17 BBC Lack of transparency overs drone strike committee finds
26/04/17 Daily Mail UK jihadi killed in RAF drone strike was planner for IS
26/04/17 Daily Mail More transparency needed over drone strike say lawmakers
26/04/17 Daily Mail Lawmakers say Briton killed was a threat to UK
26/04/17 Guardian Briton killed in drone strike posed serious threat
27/04/17 Daily Mail British jihadi was plotting terror
25/05/17 Daily Mail The terror recruiter: Baby-faced ISIS jihadi  
20/07/17 Guardian Refusal to reveal legal advice on drone killings faces challenge
21/08/17 Times Isis channelled money through company in Cardiff
26/09/17 Guardian Jihadist who left Manchester to fight with Isis ‘may still be alive’
11/10/17 Guardianrdian White Widow Sally Anne Jones killed in drone strike
12/10/17 Guardianrdianrdian Sally Jones and others legitimate target says Fallon
12/10/17 Guardianrdian Is targeting Sally Jones legal?
12/10/17 Daily Mail Sally Jones killed by drone
12/10/17 Daily Mail Britain declines to comment on reported killing of Sally Anne Jones
12/10/17 Daily Mail White Widow was planning fresh carnage
12/10/17 Guardianrdian Brit ISIS Sally Jones killed in strike was with 12-year old son
12/10/17 Guardianrdian Sally Jones was fleeing Raqqa
12/10/17 Times Isis ‘White Widow’ Sally Jones is killed by US drone strike
12/10/17 Daily Mail Sally Jones killed in Syria
12/10/17 Guardianrdian Thurs briefing: Isis mother and son die in Syria drone strike
12/10/17 BBC Jeremy Corbyn: UK jihadist Sally Jones should have faced trial
12/10/17 Daily Mail UK will not confirm death of IS white widow
12/10/17 BBC British IS recruiter Sally Jones killed by drone
13/10/17 Daily Mail Blown to bits from Vegas
13/10/17 Daily Mail The beautician who turned her boy into ISIS fanatic
13/10/17 Daily Mail Pictured: Last Christmas of White Widow and son Jojo
13/10/17 Daily Mail Britons fighting for ISIS legit target says Fallon
13/10/17 Daily Mail White widow taken out after collateral damage rules relaxed
13/10/17 Daily Mail Was Theresa may consulted before CIA killed White Widow?
13/10/17 Times Sally Jones’ son ‘collateral damage’
17/10/17 Daily Mail White widow forced son to behead goats
23/10/17 BBC British IS fighters ‘must be killed’
24/10/17 Daily Mail Fallon says Brits who fight with ISIS have made their choice
03/11/17 Daily Mail RAF Commodore slams fanciful claims
15/11/17 Daily Mail Son of White Widow Sally Jones DIDN’T die alongside her in a drone strike
01/12/17 Times Attorney General sets out legal basis for drone strikes abroad
06/12/17 Daily Mail Defence Secretary accused of dreaming up Netflix-style plot
07/12/17 BBC Terrorists have nowhere to hide
07/12/17 Daily Mail Defence Secretary responds to backlash over terror comments
10/12/17 BBC Who are Britain’s Jihadists
20/12/17 Daily Mail Theresa May vows to target Briton terrorists with drone strikes if necessary
20/12/17 Guardian May defends use of drones
04/01/18 Guardian Tribunal rules against total secrecy over UK drone strikes
28/01/18 Daily Mail US airstrike which killed Jihadi Sally also killed her 12-year-old son
03/02/18 Guardian MoD ‘in chaos’ over drone use outside of war zones
16/02/18 Daily Mail British ISIS fighter killed by US drone strike in secet UK-led mission
17/02/18 The Times British jihadist killed
01/03/18 Daily Mail Is the white widow still alive?
08/03/18 Guardian Crazy numbers’: civilian deaths from airstrikes almost double in a year
09/03/18 Guardian Nerve gas in Salisbury, drones in Syria: is there a difference?
04/06/18 Guardian How London teen plotted attacks
04/06/18 BBC The radicalisation of Safaa Boular
05/06/18 Times Spies duped terror teen Safaa Boular
05/06/18 Times Isis plotters caught
26/07/18 Daily Mail Johnson had secret talks with Bannon
26/07/18 Daily Mail Drone strikes are payback says Boris Johnson
26/07/18 Daily Mail Would we have killed them with a drone strike? Too damn right’ – Johnson
28/07/18 Daily Mail Johnson in call to chuck Chequers
01/09/18 Daily Mail Cardiff’s terror history
24/10/18 Daily Mail White Widow’ terrorist Sally Jones ‘could still be alive
22/11/18 Daily Mail We are in your emails and computer – ISIS Hacker
15/01/19 Daily Mail Former postman inspired young men to join ISIS