After months of trying times, U.S. Justice Department officials are walking with a little spring in their step, describing it as a “good week” after the terrorism suspect accused of trying to detonate a car bomb in the heart of New York’s busy Times Square was nabbed only two days after the failed attack.
The department has been under fire since last fall over issues ranging from Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to prosecute the accused plotters of the Sept. 11 attacks in the heart of Manhattan to closing the military prison at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
And when a Nigerian man was able to sneak a bomb hidden in his underwear aboard a U.S. commercial jet, the dull roar of anger became white hot rage by both Republicans and President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats about how the administration handled the situation.
A presidential investigation was undertaken, intelligence agencies admitted they missed some clear warnings about a pending attack and who might try to carry it out, and scores of congressional hearings were called to delve into how Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab got on the plane and the response.
Republicans slammed the White House and Justice Department when details about Abdulmutallab’s interrogation leaked out — that it lasted about 50 minutes before he was wheeled into surgery and then later read his Miranda rights entitling him to remain silent and to a lawyer. He later began cooperating with authorities again.