Abdulmutallab was charged as a civilian criminal rather than an enemy combatant, which would have subjected him to a military tribune, not a civilian trial.

GOP lawmakers are eager to know who decided to make Abdulmutallab into a criminal rather than an enemy combatant. In a memo to the Justice Department, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) writes, “We are writing to ask who within the Department of Justice made the decision on Christmas Day to treat Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab as a criminal suspect, entitled to Miranda warnings and the right to counsel, rather than as an unprivileged enemy belligerent subject to military detention and a full opportunity to gain intelligence.”

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