What are the rules for killing alleged traitors?

France has adopted a “wanted dead or not alive” policy for French citizens that the French government believes have been fighting for ISIS in Syria.

"We are committed along with our allies to the destruction of Daesh (Islamic State) and we’re doing everything to that end," Defence Minister Florence Parly told reporters at the weekend. “What we want is to go to the end of this combat and of course if jihadists die in the fighting, then I’d say it’s for the best,” she added. French citizens are among the biggest contingent of overseas fighters who have joined IS, with around 1,000 nationals estimated by counter-terror officials to have travelled to Iraq and Syria.

The link goes on to explain that the French have no death penalty and don’t know how to deal with a large population of Jihadist prisoners. Simply killing them in the Syria greatly simplifies their problems.

The Obama administration took similar actions in the drone attacks that killed Anwar Al-Waliki with claims that drone strikes include an internal review within the administration that qualifies as “due process”:

Critics say the kind of due process Holder and Obama are describing is pretty weak stuff: layers of internal administration review, rather than a more formal process involving a court. One oddity of the current legal situation remains that the U.S. government needs some kind of court-approved warrant to intentionally eavesdrop on the telephone or e-mail of a U.S. citizen suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda, like Anwar Al-Awlaki. However, using a drone, a missile, bomb or military raid to intentionally kill that same person requires no approval from the judicial branch.

At the same time France along with the UK, the US, and other western allies, have supported sanctions against Russian government for the poisoning of a former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, in Britain. For background see:

My question is what are the rules for killing alleged traitors?

If the Russians had used a drone strike instead of poison to attack an alleged traitor, would that be okay?

If the Russian government said that the Putin administration had an internal review and decided that the defector was a threat to their security, would that qualify as due process?

They’re illegal enemy combatants on foreign soil making war against the whole of the western world. I fail to see the contravorsey in labeling them as such and killing them on the battlefield.

I sure as hell would not want them to be captured and brought back to our country.

I agree that there is no issue with killing enemy combatants on the battlefield. Combatants who surrender are normally given prisoner-of-war status. In the case of allegedly illegal combatants, they can face a criminal trial or military tribunal.

France seems to be working to avoid that possibility by killing as many of its citizens before they surrender. The French may insist that any who manage to surrender to the Kurds or other forces face trial in Syria or Iraq rather than returning for a trial in France.

An issue for the US is that the Obama administration developed a very broad interpretation of battlefield and combatants. Essentially it claimed the right to kill anyone at anytime if an internal review within the administration concluded that they were a terrorist threat.

The US has certainly violated the laws of other countries in the war on terror. For example, the Bush administration captured an Egyptian cleric in Italy and returned him to the US in violation of Italian law. The CIA agents involved were convicted of kidnapping in Italy; one was recently pardoned:

The apparent Russian poison attack against their former agent takes things a step further. The US prefers drone attacks or kidnapping rather than poisoning.

Is the outrage in the Russian attack because of the use of poison instead of explosives?

Would everything be okay if the Russians used kidnapping or a drone attack instead?

Define “battlefield”.

Wherever they are on foreign soil and engaging in acts that aid or abet, the enemy in the conduct of such operations.

The WOT is global.

The Russian poisoning attacks were not terrorism, they were state sponsored acts of revenge for past acts.

It’s absolutely murder and attempted murder violating the UK’s espionage acts but I don’t see how that can be stretched into the WOT.

These kinds of poisonings were fairly commonly committed by the KGB during the CW era and I can’t remember anyone claiming they were acts of terrorism.

The laws may have been changed enough for it to qualify in the intervening years but man, that’s a stretch if it has.

There us actually an embryonic emerging science to “political science.” It has a lot to do with understanding public opinion and how it can be harnassed.

In “legal” terms attack on foreign soil is an attack on foreign soil.

That said, the poltical reality is different.
You can reasono expect different British public opinion results in each of the following cases:

  • Russia hires a lifelong British criminal, a Liverpool street thug, enlisting him as hitman, who then stealhfully kills Sergei Skripal and his daughter with close range bullets to the head.
  • Russia “sends a message,” killing them in public with a nerve agent, but in a close-up personal manner, with zero chance of errant collateral casualties.
  • Russia sends a drone and bombs Sergei Skripal’s 8-story apartment building.
  • Russia carpet bombs London.

You mean, whenever our government, without the due process required in the constitution, alleges they have, don’t you?.