Christmas bombing suspect provided valuable intelligence and claimed second bomb onboard
January 24, 2010
(ChattahBox) – More details have been releases on the first hours after Christmas Day airline bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested after he tried to ignite a bomb hidden in his underwear, which fortunately failed to explode. Abdulmutallab spoke freely and provided valuable intelligence, officials said right from the start, after being arrested on the Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit Metro Airport. Badly burned and bleeding, the former London student tried one last attempt at disruption as he was led away, as he claimed there was another bomb hidden on the plane he had just tried to destroy, officials said.
There was no second bomb, FBI agents learned after a tense search. But the Nigerian’s threat began hours of conversations where he revealed in detail about what he had done and the planning that went into the attack. It was during this initial questioning that he admitted he had been trained and instructed in the plot by al Qaida operatives in Yemen, but everything stopped and no additional information was shared when Abdulmutallab was read his legal rights nearly 10 hours after the incident. Like in really, I have legal rights? Investigators are theoretically within their rights to question a suspect without providing a Miranda warning if they are trying to end a threat to public safety, as in were there other planes with bombs headed for the United States. Now there is a fierce political debate over why he was treated as a civilian in the first place, and what is the right way to handle terrorism suspects. The nation’s intelligence chief said he should have been questioned by a special group of terror investigators rather than FBI agents. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said he had wrongly caved to external “pressure” to trim the no-fly list and Abdulmutallab should have been questioned by the recently created High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.
As for the way Abdulmutallab was handled after his arrest, Blair said the HIG should have “automatically” been deployed to interrogate the suspect, even though it was originally designed to deal with terror suspects captured overseas. “That unit was created exactly for this purpose,” Blair said. “We did not invoke the HIG in this case. We should have.”
On-scene FBI agents apparently never considered turning the suspect over to military authorities. A second interview was conducted by different FBI agents and others with the local joint terrorism task force to protect themselves from challenges to evidence or statements. According to the Washington Post, by bringing in a “clean team” of investigators to talk to the suspect, federal officials aimed to ensure that Abdulmutallab’s statements would still be admissible if not giving him his Miranda warning led a judge to rule out the use of his first admissions.