Feds Dial Back Miranda Rights for Terror Suspects

New rules allow terrorists to be questioned longer
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2011 12:38 PM CDT
This courtroom sketch shows failed Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, left, in federal court in Detroit, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Carole Kabrin)

(Newser) – The Obama administration has issued new rules allowing law enforcement to hold terror suspects longer than other alleged criminals without reading them their Miranda rights, the Wall Street Journal reports. The change, which is to be used when investigators “conclude that continued unwarned interrogation” is needed “to collect valuable and timely intelligence not related to any immediate threat,” represents one of the biggest Obama has made to terror investigation rules—and another shift from his campaign rhetoric.

“The threat posed by terrorist organizations ... creates fundamentally different public safety concerns than traditional criminal cases,” said a Justice department spokesman. The new rules, detailed in an FBI memo from December, follow GOP criticism that authorities risked losing valuable information by reading suspects like the Christmas Day and the Times Square bombers their rights. But the Justice department’s decision, made without Congressional approval, “may not withstand the scrutiny of the courts,” says a House Democrat.

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