Attorney General Eric Holder said the White House is working with Congress on giving federal officials more flexibility in questioning terror suspects, calling it a “new priority” for President Barack Obama.
“We want the public safety exception to be consistent with the public safety concerns that we now have,” Holder said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program. The top U.S. law enforcement official earlier said on ABC’s “This Week” that Congress needs to give “serious consideration” to revising the guidelines.
The public safety exception lets law enforcement officers question suspects on potential threats before giving a “Miranda warning” advising them of their rights to remain silent and to have legal counsel.
Holder, on ABC’s “This Week” program, discussed the case against Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the attempted May 1 bombing in New York City’s Times Square. Shahzad allegedly tried to “kill and maim” people by driving a Nissan Pathfinder with a bomb into the crowded Manhattan area, prosecutors said in a court complaint against him in New York. He was arrested May 3.
The Pakistan-born naturalized U.S. citizen faces five counts, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and receiving bomb-making training in the Waziristan region of Pakistan. Holder also said today that Shahzad was working with the Pakistani Taliban in plotting the attempted attack.