Republican US Senate candidate Michael J. Sullivan called again Friday for revoking the citizenship of the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings so that he can be treated as an enemy combatant, following news reports that Dzokhar Tsarnaev stopped sharing information after he was read his Miranda rights.
“Tsarnaev acted as an enemy combatant in carrying out terrorist acts against our people. He should have been treated as an enemy combatant, including interrogation and detention by our military officials,” he said in a statement. Only then would we be in a position to decide whether to release him into the civilian court system.”
Sullivan argued that Tsarnaev’s citizenship could be voided because he may have been plotting against America even when he took the oath of citizenship last year in Boston.
“Our first concern must always be preventing future terrorist acts against our people,” said Sullivan. “In most, if not all cases, terrorists should not be immediately allowed to enter our civil court system.”
Republican lawmakers had been pushing for the suspect to be treated as an enemy combatant so that he could be questioned without a lawyer and other protections of the criminal justice system. But Tsarnaev was a naturalized citizen of the United States, and authorities, while delaying the charges for interrogation without a lawyer, said he had to be read his rights and criminally charged.
It was unclear on Friday how Sullivan was proposing that the case proceed now that Tsarnaev has already been read his rights and interrogated. Sullivan’s spokeswoman declined to make him available for comment.
“It was a mistake to immediately afford him Miranda rights,” Sullivan said. “Instead, he should have been held in military custody, and interrogated for intelligence to protect our nation from additional terrorist attacks.”
Sullivan is a former U.S. Attorney and former acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. During his tenure, he led the prosecution of “shoe bomber” Richard Reid in federal courts. However, he said the Reid prosecution occurred before the protocol for military tribunals was available.Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @stephanieebbert.