The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Former Law Enforcement Officials Comment on the Arrest in the NYC Attempted Bombing

Federal law enforcement fully capable to gather intelligence through tested and lawful procedures


With the early morning arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the American citizen
suspected of the attempted car bombing in New York City's Times Square,
there have already been some members of Congress who are erroneously
claiming that Mr. Shahzad should not have been "Mirandized." These
claims fail to realize that the suspect, Mr. Shahzad, is a United States
citizen, and was arrested on U.S. soil.

He is entitled to the
due process protections that every American is entitled to upon arrest.
These due process procedures, including the reading of Miranda rights,
have proven to be the best method of gaining further intelligence, with
news reports indicating that the suspect is already cooperating with law
enforcement officials.

The following can be attributed to
James Robinson, former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal
Division of the Department of Justice:

"For members of Congress
to criticize the arrest and subsequent 'mirandizing' of suspected bomber
Faisal Shahzad, not only shows a glaring lack of understanding of the
law, but also a lack of confidence in the law enforcement officials
putting their lives on the line to keep our nation safe. Mr. Shahzad is
an American citizen and he is entitled to the full rights afforded by
the U.S. Constitution. Among them, the Fifth Amendment right against
self-incrimination. And, given that his arrest occurred more than 48
hours after the attempted bombing, there's no reason to think that the
public safety exception to Miranda would have applied to this arrest."

following can be attributed to John Cloonan, former Special Agent in
the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from

"The arrest of Faisal Shahzad was the culmination of
good, old-fashioned police work. Mr. Shahzad is a naturalized U.S.
citizen, not an enemy combatant picked up on the battlefield. As such,
he was first questioned by FBI agents and New York City detectives under
the public safety exception to the Miranda rule. After agreeing to
answer questions, Shahzad was placed in a custodial situation and then
read his Miranda rights. According to reports, Shahzad is cooperating
and providing valuable information concerning the plot to detonate a
bomb in Times Square. Reading Shahzad his Miranda rights in no way
impeded the continuing investigation. And, approaching Shahzad in the
manner described was effective, lawful and will stand up to scrutiny in a
court of law. Shahzad was after all an American citizen and he will
have his day in court. Due process in my view has been vindicated and
this case illustrates how following the rule of law does not put U.S.
citizens at risk or weaken our national security."

Other former
law enforcement officials and other key voices on these issues are
available for media commentary. To arrange an interview, please contact
Matthew Allee, Director of Communications at the Constitution Project,
at (202) 580-6922 or

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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