WASHINGTON – Attorneys for the father of a cleric trying to inspire Muslims to kill Americans argued in court Monday to keep his son from being targeted for death by President Obama.

U.S. District Judge John Bates heard arguments in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki on the same day that the American cleric made a renewed call for jihad against U.S. citizens in a video posted on extremist websites.

Al-Awlaki, believed to be hiding in Yemen, was linked to last year’s shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and the attempted bombing of a U.S.-bound flight last Christmas.

Al-Awlaki’s father, Nasser al-Awlaki of Yemen, says in a lawsuit that international law and the Constitution prevent the Obama administration from unilaterally targeting his son for death unless he presents a specific imminent threat to life or physical safety and there are no other means to stop him.

The suit also seeks to force the government to disclose standards for determining whether U.S. citizens like his son, born in New Mexico, can be targeted for death.

“What the government is doing is imposing the death penalty without trial,” said Jameel Jaffer, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.