Upon his capture late Friday, bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev was not immediately read his Miranda rights.
“No Miranda warning to be given,” a Justice Department official said. “The government will be invoking the public safety exception.”
According to the FBI, the public safety exception applies when police officers have an objectively reasonable need to protect the police or the public from immediate danger.
This allows the federal government’s High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) to question Tsarnaev immediately, ABC News reported. The group, set up in 2009, is made up of agents from the FBI, CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
ABC adds that, according to the FBI, the HIG’s “mission is to gather and apply the nation’s best resources to collect intelligence from key terror suspects in order to prevent terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies.”
The announcement came as a debate has already begun among lawmakers, lawyers and political activists over whether Tsarnaev should be prosecuted in a civilian criminal court or subjected to military interrogation, as noted by Reason Magazine.
The Atlantic Wire reported that U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted — several times — to say that Tsarnaev, an American citizen, should be treated as “an enemy combatant” and pumped for information that could “protect our nation which is under threat from radical Islam.”
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