Republican lawmakers urge Obama to use ‘combatant status’ for bombing suspect
Published April 20, 2013
They were joined in the statement by New York Republican Rep. Peter King.
19-year-old Tsarnaev was captured in Watertown, Mass., about eight miles from the bombing site. He remains in a hospital in critical condition with two gunshot wounds.
He will be interrogated by the Obama administration’s High Value Interrogation Group.
Justice Department officials tell Fox News they hope to file charges against Tsarnaev by the end of the day Saturday.
“We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option,” the Republican lawmakers said. “We are encouraged our high value detainee interrogation team is now involved … .A decision to not read Miranda rights to the suspect was sound and in our national security interests.”
President Obama in the immediate aftermath of the bombings declared them an “act of terrorism.” And he vowed after Tsarnaev’s capture Friday to get answers but has yet to say whether the administration will use the combatant status.
The second suspect, Tsarnaev’s 26-year-old brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed early Friday morning in Watertown in a shootout with police.
Two bombs set off Monday afternoon near the marathon finish line killed three people and injured 176 others.
The president on Friday night said the victims “deserve answers.”
“We will determine what happened,” he said. “We will investigate any association that these terrorists may have had.”
King told Fox News before Tsarnaev’s capture that his Miranda Rights could be denied.
“I believe he can be interrogated under the public safety exception of the Miranda ruling because clearly life and death can be involved here,” he said. “I feel confident the FBI has the right to interrogate him.”