Faisal Shahzad Was Read Miranda Rights After Initial Questioning

Faisal Shahzad
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Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

Alleged terrorist Faisal Shahzad was initially questioned by authorities under the public safety exception to the Miranda rule, Deputy Director of the FBI John S. Pistole said today at a press conference. Shahzad, who faces terrorism charges for a failed attempt to blow up a car in Times Square, was later read his Miranda rights and continued to cooperate with authorities after that, Pistole said.

Shahzad was arrested late Monday night as he was boarding a Dubai-bound flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport on charges that he parked a bomb-laden car in Times Square in New York City.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said this morning it would be a "mistake" to read the 30-year-old naturalized American citizen his Miranda rights, which inform a suspect of their right to avoid self-incrimination.

"Don't give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it's all about," McCain said on a radio show this morning.

Pistole said that joint terrorism task force agents and officers from the New York Police Department interviewed Shahzad last night and early this morning before reading him his Miranda rights and that he was "cooperative" and provided "valuable intelligence and evidence."

"He was Mirandized later and continued to cooperate and provide valuable information," he added.

CBS Radio News Legal Analyst Andrew Cohen says that in this sort of case, a Miranda warning will "protect the prosecutors at trial when they use the suspect's own words against him."

"It's his answers to the second questioning we'd be most likely to hear about at trial," Cohen said. "The fact the defendant continued to talk after the warning tells you that it didn't warn him off too strongly."

Rep. Peter King (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, also said today it was debatable whether Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights or even arrested on criminal charges to begin with.

Republicans similarly criticized the Obama administration for reading Miranda rights to "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was charged for attempting to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day last year. Abdulmutallab, who is not an American citizen, was also read his Miranda rights after he had been interrogated.