Definition of signature strike in US English:

signature strike


  • A military attack by a drone or drones in which people are targeted because their activities are believed to fit a particular behavioral profile, though their individual identities are unknown.

    ‘officials said the use of signature strikes is part of a broader easing of constraints on military drone campaigns’
    • ‘These so-called signature strikes are based on assessments that men carrying weapons or in a militant compound are legitimate targets.’
    • ‘Broader rules allow signature strikes, when surveillance data suggest a terrorist leader may be nearby but the identities of others targeted is not known.’
    • ‘The proposal for the signature strikes is awaiting a decision by the National Security Council.’
    • ‘They report an increase in signature strikes, which target groups selected through "pattern of life analysis."’
    • ‘The agency has been building networks of informants there to assemble intelligence reports that could guide the signature strikes.’