US REaper drone
US Reaper drone, used to kill battlefield targets and gather intelligenceGetty

Pornstars, actors and musicians have had their names used to label targets of an extra-judicial kill list drawn up by British intelligence services, according to a human rights group. Eurythmics, Bowie, Redford and Black Sabbath are some of the denominations given to terror and drug trafficking suspects in Afghanistan and Pakistan who were designated for elimination by British services in cooperation with their US counterparts, a report by Reprieve alleges.

The charity described the naming process as extraordinary and horrifying because of the "dehumanisation of the process, as well as the puerile quality of the nomenclature".

"Some people who are slated for what may be instant death by a Hellfire missile are codenamed based on pornography stars, or prophylactics; some are cartoon characters; some are musicians and actors who might well object to having their names used on a Kill List," the NGO wrote.

Based on leaked documents, the report said UK officials listed hundreds of individuals as targets since the early 2000s. A copy of the so-called Joint Prioritized Effective List (JPEL) dated August 2010 featured 699 names. The document was part of a stash of data leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Targets were given disparate codenames. One was referred to as Dancing Bear, after the namesake porn website, while others bore direct references to pornstars Rocco Siffredi, Camilla Kamila and Aletta Ocean. Actors Robert Redford and Paul Newman had also part of their names used alongside those of their characters Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid from the 1969 Hollywood movie.

British and US operatives also drew from comic books, videogames and TV series as well as from the music world to name drone strikes' objectives, with Pistols, Doors Kiss, Cash Charlatans, Chamillionaire and 50 Cent among bands and artists used for inspiration.

Writing for IBTimes UK, Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith remained of the many civilian casualties caused by drone strikes and warned of the consequence of dehumanizing suspects with kill lists filled with made up names.

"Those who we target in the Drone Age with Hellfire missiles fired from Predator drones are not human beings, but "Squirters" – people running away, wetting themselves in terror. Someone who we blow to tiny pieces is called a "Bugsplat," he wrote.

"In reply, it is not enough to say that terrorists are evil: the report demonstrates that the UK and the US have included common criminals on their Kill List, including drug traffickers. As with so many other ill-advised ideas dreamt up in the name of the "War on Terror" – from Guantanámo, to Abu Ghraib, to Torture, to Rendition – this Kill List is just another ill-considered concept that will make the world a more dangerous place."