U.S. media reports say the Obama administration is debating whether to order a lethal drone strike against an American citizen accused of being part of the al-Qaida terrorist network.
The reports cite unnamed U.S. officials who say no decision has yet been made on whether to add the American to the government's kill list.
Officials have not revealed the identity of the suspected terrorist or in which country he is living.
The Associated Press, which first reported the story Monday, said the alleged operative is in a country that refuses U.S. military action on its soil.
President Obama issued new guidelines on the use of drones last May, saying that a U.S. citizen can only be killed overseas if he poses an imminent and continuing threat to the United States. He said such a measure should be taken only as a last resort and should face special scrutiny by the Justice Department.
The president issued the new policy after coming under pressure for approving the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric operating in Yemen. The White House said three other Americans were also killed by drone strikes since 2009, but were not intentionally targeted.