Verwaltungsgericht Köln, judgement of 27 May 2015 – 3 K 5625

Lukas Pirnay


Since September 11, 2001, the U.S. has been waging a global war on terror. Most anti-terror operations have been carried out by remotely piloted unmanned aircraft, more commonly known as drones. Drones strikes have killed alleged terrorists all over Central Asia, in particular in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In 2014, after their home region in Yemen had become a focal point of U.S. anti-terror operations, three Yemeni Citizens fled a lawsuit with the German Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgericht] of Cologne against the German Federal Republic. U.S. drone strikes, the applicants argued, would not be possible without Ramstein Air Base, a U.S. military base located in southwestern Germany, whose satellite relay station is relaying all communication between the drone operator and the drone itself.

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