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Bill would require FBI, DOJ to consult before 'Mirandizing' terrorists

Posted: January 26, 2010 2:40 p.m.
Updated: January 26, 2010 7:00 p.m.
Washington, D.C. - House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.) today joined with lead sponsor Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and other House Republicans to introduce legislation requiring the Justice Department (DOJ) to consult with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense before giving terrorists Miranda rights.

The Ensuring the Collection of Critical Intelligence Act of 2010 (H.R. 4503) requires DOJ to consult with the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of Defense before Mirandizing or charging a foreign terrorist as a criminal.

"The mishandling of the Christmas Day bomber underscores the need for better cooperation and communication among Department of Justice, Defense, and intelligence personnel," said Rep. McKeon. "I'm confident we would be in a position to gather valuable information about al-Qaeda's techniques and capabilities had FBI and DOJ agents been forced to communicate with our intelligence community prior to Mirandizing Abdulmutallab."

Following the Christmas Day bombing plot, Nigerian terrorist Abdulmutallab admitted to FBI agents that he was an al-Qaeda operative who had received explosives training from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Despite confessing to being a foreign terrorist affiliated with al-Qaeda, Abdulmutallab was informed of his Miranda rights and charged as a civilian criminal. Neither the FBI nor DOJ consulted with the intelligence community before filing the complaint.

According to news reports, Abdulmutallab claimed to be one of many terrorists training with al-Qaeda to attack Americans. But now that he has been given access to an attorney, Abdulmutallab has stopped cooperating with investigators. In other words, our ability to gather critical intelligence about pending attacks against Americans has been lost.

A recent Investor's Business Daily poll found that 61 percent of those polled oppose giving Miranda rights to captured terrorists.


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