McCain: Faisal Shahzad Should Not Have Been Mirandized

Faisal Shahzad
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Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET with information regarding when authorities read Shahzad his Miranda rights.

Two congressional Republicans are questioning whether federal authorities should have read alleged terrorist Faisal Shahzad his Miranda rights after he was arrested late Monday night. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said reading Shahzad his Miranda rights would be a "mistake."

Shahzad, a 30-year-old naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, was arrested as he was boarding a Dubai-bound flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport late Monday. He faces terrorism charges for parking a bomb-laden car in Times Square in New York City.

McCain, echoing comments he's made in previous national security situations, said on a radio program this morning that "obviously that would be a serious mistake [to Mirandize Shahzad]... at least until we find out as much information we have," the Hill reports.

"Don't give this guy his Miranda rights until we find out what it's all about," McCain added.

Deputy Director of the FBI John S. Pistole said today 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.

McCain similarly complained that "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was read his Miranda rights after attempting to detonate a bomb on board a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day last year. Officials later said, however, that Abdulmutallab was only read his Miranda rights, which warn a suspect that he does not have to incriminate himself, after being interrogated.

Rep. Peter King (N.Y.), the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, is also asking whether Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the treatment of Shahzad with the intelligence community before deciding to arrest him on criminal charges, Politico reports.

"If they believe they got enough from him, how much more should they get? Did they Mirandize him? I know he's an American citizen but still," King said.

King acknowledged that the case against Shahzad is different since, unlike Abdulmutallab, he is an American citizen and most of his alleged attempted efforts to detonate a bomb appear to have taken place in the United States.

"That said, before there's a rush to indict him, I think they should make an effort to figure out what is the best venue for him," King said.

King was less critical on Monday of how authorities handled Shahzad.

"I think they've done all they can," King told Politico yesterday. "Primarily right now, it's the NYPD and the FBI. I was talking to the Homeland Security department yesterday, and I have no reason to criticize them. There's nothing they should've done, there's nothing they haven't done."

And while McCain this morning said it would be a mistake to read Shahzad his Miranda rights, he also said that Shahzad would likely face the death penalty if convicted of criminal charges.

"There's probably about 350 different charges he's guilty off -- attempted acts of terror against the United States, attempted murder," McCain said, the Hill reports, while cautioning that he did not yet know the actual charges against Shahzad. "I'm sure there's a significant number to warrant the death penalty."

He added that Shahzad's arrest "gives you a little encouragement about the improvements we've made since 9/11."

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