February 2, 2010 / 10:50 PM / 10 years ago

Airplane bomb suspect cooperating with U.S.: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is cooperating again with U.S. authorities and has provided “useful intelligence,” a law enforcement official said on Tuesday.

The Obama administration has been widely criticized by Republicans and Democrats because the suspect was interviewed by FBI agents for only about an hour before he stopped cooperating and he was then read Miranda rights, providing him full U.S. constitutional legal rights.

Prosecutors charged Abdulmutallab, 23, with trying to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with a bomb hidden in his underwear, drawing further criticism from some lawmakers who said he should face a special military court instead.

“Abdulmutallab is talking and has been talking since last week providing useful, actionable and current intelligence that we’ve been actively following up on,” the official said. He declined further comment because the investigation is ongoing.

If he is convicted, Abdulmutallab could face spending the rest of his life in a U.S. prison, which could provide an incentive for him to cooperate with authorities.

Abdulmutallab told investigators when he was arrested that he had received training and the explosive device from militants associated with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; editing by Mohammad Zargham

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