February 10th, 2014
03:01 PM ET

Source: U.S. debating targeted killing of American terror suspect overseas

By Barbara Starr

The Obama administration is in high-level discussions about staging an operation to kill an American citizen involved with al Qaeda and suspected of plotting attacks against the United States, a senior U.S. official tells CNN.

The official, who declined to disclose any specific information about the target or the country the suspect presides in, was confirming information first reported by The Associated Press.

The debate about whether to undertake a mission is being held with various commanders in the U.S. military, as well as the U.S. national security agencies. The discussion centers on the risk involved and the importance of the target.

Before military force against an American is approved, there must be an imminent danger and no reasonable prospect of capturing the target. Ultimately, the President would need to sign off on the decision.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Delaware River Canoeing Map

    Help me understand what the big deal would be if we did kill an American that was fighting with the Taliban or another terrorist group .

    June 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  2. Marty

    We appear to be heading in the direction of feeding the Liberty Tree

    February 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  3. emil kaiypov

    My name is Emil Kaiypov. I am a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, a lawyer, and a father of two children. The proposal for which I am asking your kind support is the suspension of all currently existing hostilities on Earth.

    The main goal of my entire project is to save and improve the lives of children who are suffering from the present conflicts and violence.

    The challenge is to create a moment of "pause" [a technical term from video language] in hostilities now and in the future, as well as to refusal to restart them at all. I believe that in this context, such "pause" in the war action seems do-able and practical, much more effective than the idealistic and utopian pressing of an imaginary "stop" button. In the future the first action will equate to the second: "pause" will become "stop". In order to alert the international community and potential supporters, I made a demonstration of my own at 18 October 2013 on the territory of Syrian embassy in Beirut, with poster "pause the war".

    The purpose of this demonstration, is to show through an example that:

    1) one person has the power to perform an action directed to the benefit of all mankind.

    2) no one should be indifferent, when war is concerned.

    3) war requires us to drop everything else, in order to stop it. Daily activities, against the background of war, look meaningless and empty.

    I believe, that this idea will resonate and supporters will wish to join it. The age of information technologies, will help to spread it around the globe. Definitely there will be supporters among the world's famous celebrities. In the event that a large number of ordinary people and celebrities join this campaign, the dream to stop all military actions on the planet will be realized. This will serve as an occasion to announce the call for volunteers in the "international army of peace". It will consist of unarmed "soldiers" who are ready at any time, to go to the hot spot to "pause" the hostilities with the fact of their presence and to encourage the warring parties to engage in dialogue. Ideally, this army should consist of a world-famous and beloved celebrities from all spheres of human activities.

    I suggest that countries be ready to support my initiative, in solidarity, by placing on the cloth of their national flags, the well-known pause symbol "II". I believe that in the course of implementation of this anti-war action, the reasons for which the suspended armed conflict began, will be resolved or continued in a civilized manner. This anti-war action will bring about a new peaceful reality, when there will be no state left, which "international army of peace" had not visited.

    The termination of all hostilities, will become the point of departure for further continuous progress in all directions.

    We are able to bring about the time, when the world will be fairly managed by a workable international organization which will be trusted by all citizens of the earth. When this happens, all kinds of weapons will be transferred to international United Nations control, the purpose of which, will be the preservation of peace and sustainable development of mankind.

    We live in a world, when the collective effort makes possible the colonizing of other planets in the foreseeable future. I believe, that we have enough strength and resources for the child born tomorrow to see a world, where uniform international standards of education, labor, pension and medical care, will be established everywhere. A world, where the primary human needs will be satisfied for free.

    A world, where nobody talks about freedom, because absolute freedom will accompany each person from the moment of birth, to his last breath. A world, where the happiness and freedom of the individual, will not happen in isolation but will include freedom and happiness of all of humanity. A world without war.

    A world without war is undisputed goal, that sooner or later humanity will definitely reach. It is the primary duty of every adult to fulfill a "world in peace"– everyone’s childhood dream. Every child surrounded by the horrors of war dreams that one day somebody will come and say "It is enough!" and by saying it bring war to an end. Then war will stop. That day has come! It's time to combine our efforts in order to make that dream come true.

    February 11, 2014 at 2:13 am | Reply
    • George patton

      Good posting, emil. This post here spells out why you're dream cannot be realized. The right-wing thugs in Washington want to murder a man just merely being suspected of being an Al Qaeda affiliate. These people care for nobody or anything but themselves and will start another war in order to procure a profit no matter how many people lose their lives in the process!!!

      February 11, 2014 at 10:55 am | Reply
  4. Random

    I'm all about protecting our citizens, on our soil.

    I would need you to provide solid proof:
    he has left the us.
    How long ago he left.
    Atleast a general itinerary of that time.

    I think once you can prove he was involved in the planning , motivating, funding, ie any part in; the murder of American citizens , knowingly and willfully and deliberately it is no longer an issue of killing a citizen but executing a traitor during wartime which I do believe is well within the law. The real problem here is not acknowledging it as a global gihad because of fear the more tolerable moderate muslims would join the fight. But just like the women in the factories back in wwII you don't need to be on the field fighting to effect the outcome. They are already involved. Once you acknowledge the low frequency high intensity war being fought against us, if you can connect them for sure to the death of citizens in an act of war (the jihadi's did actually declare war we just didnt acknowledge it). Then you have all the legal justification to make him turn into a red fog. I would actually go as far as to say it is your sworn duty once the person in question is positively identified in a plot that worked, or a plot that is stopped , it is your duty to protect me , and or my kids in the service that he endangers.
    I challenge you to justify NOT killing him before he teaches another 24 bombers or what ever his violence of choice is.

    It is your first , primary , only meaningful job as an elected official , to protect me with the cash i give you in taxes. As of right now, the debate means he is in the crosshairs. We know where, when , with who, and that means if he , or anyone he inspires carries out an attack you who debate this action were incompetent DID connect the dots, and failed to act on a defected threat/former citizen.

    February 10, 2014 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  5. Brian

    Why dont you just find the suspect and tell him so he can avoid it? what a dumb story to cover.

    February 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm | Reply
  6. World Chaos News

    Reblogged this on .

    February 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  7. George patton

    Whether the man in question is linked with Al Qaeda or not, there is no way on earth to justify his heinous murder by those ungodly drones. The use of these monsters against defenseless people is truly inhumane and needs to be outlawed once and for all! Besides, this ignominious activity is truly a national disgrace for all of us Americans!!!

    February 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm | Reply
    • Jack Hollis

      You nailed it good, George. I totally agree that both those godless drones and the sniveling cowards who operate them are truly a disgrace to this country. Those cowards who haven't the guts to face a man in hand to hand combat but don't mind butchering people from half way around the world need to be arrested and dealt with appropriately!

      February 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Reply
      • Random

        Not in the military eh? Doesnt sound like it.

        February 11, 2014 at 12:23 am |
    • Random

      You can pilot the next manned craft that has to fly a mission.

      February 11, 2014 at 12:23 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.