* U.S. following additional leads from intelligence
* Senators upset about problems with watchlists
(Refiles to remove extraneous word in first paragraph)
By Jeremy Pelofsky
WASHINGTON, May 6 The Pakistani-American
accused of the New York Times Square car bomb plot has provided
useful information and is still cooperating with U.S.
authorities, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.
Holder, speaking at a Senate Appropriations Committee
hearing, said authorities were pursuing information provided by
Faisal Shahzad, 30.
The suspect has been charged with driving a car bomb into
crowded midtown Manhattan on Saturday and unsuccessfully trying
to detonate it. He was captured two days later trying to flee
the country on a plane to Dubai.
The Obama administration has come under fire from some
Republicans for reading certain terrorism suspects, including
Shahzad, their Miranda rights, which entitle them to a lawyer
and the right to remain silent.
Despite being read his rights, Shahzad has waived those
"Mr. Shahzad is continuing to cooperate with us," Holder
told the Senate committee.
The FBI has said after Shahzad was arrested at John F.
Kennedy International Airport, he was interviewed to determine
whether there was any immediate threat before he was read his
"During ongoing questioning by federal agents, Shahzad has
provided useful information and we will continue to pursue a
number of leads as we gather intelligence relating to this
attempted attack," Holder said.
Holder told the committee that several terrorism suspects
who were given their Miranda rights have cooperated with U.S.
authorities and provided useful intelligence, including a
Chicago man, David Headley, who pleaded guilty to helping scout
targets for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
In the Times Square incident, Holder said authorities were
reviewing records to see if there was information prior to the
incident that should have tipped them off.
There are concerns that Shahzad, who was born in Pakistan
and became a naturalized U.S. citizen a year ago, was able to
board a commercial flight bound for Dubai without being stopped
despite being added that day to the "no fly" watchlist.
Authorities were able to detain him before takeoff but the
close call disturbed senators on the panel.
"We're really grouchy about the watchlist and what
happened," said Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski. "There
should have been a significant kind of red alert for the
methods for leaving the United States. ... Once again the
watchlist seemed to be dysfunctional."
The Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday
ordered airlines to check their passenger manifests for matches
more frequently when an urgent bulletin is sent to them.
The problems with watchlists was evident on Thursday when
another Emirates flight was about to leave JFK Airport for
Dubai but was stopped because a passenger had a name similar to
one on the no-fly list. The flight departed later without
Senators also were critical of the fact that Shahzad
purchased his ticket at the last minute for cash, which some
have argued should be a trigger so that the passenger is
subjected to enhanced screening.
Separately, a group of U.S. lawmakers introduced
legislation that would authorize the State Department to revoke
the citizenship of Americans who have affiliated with groups
that are designated as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization."
Part of the aim would be to limit the rights of those
caught trying to carry out an attack in the United States and
make it easier to prosecute them in a special military trial,
said one of the sponsors, independent Senator Joe Lieberman.
(Additional reporting by James Vicini; Editing by Bill