The Obama administration is currently debating whether or not to launch a drone strike against an American believed to be associated with al Qaeda and actively plotting terrorist attacks, the Associated Press reported on Monday. The deliberation is "the first time American officials have actively discussed killing an American citizen overseas since President Obama imposed new restrictions on drone operations last May" (NYT). The administration's new policies also show a preference for having the Defense Department carry out strikes against Americans overseas, though an exception could be made to allow the CIA to carry out the strike instead (AFP, FOX News).
While officials would not confirm the identity of the suspect, or provide any details about what evidence they may have about the suspect's involvement in terrorist activity, the Wall Street Journal noted that a CIA review last year concluded the individual in question met Obama's criteria for a drone strike (WSJ). However, under Obama's new policy, the Justice Department must also review any decision to add an American to the "kill list." According to the reports, that review is still underway; a senior U.S. official told the Journal that a strike was not imminent and there was "time for a review." The White House, the CIA, and the Pentagon have all declined to comment on the reports.