Senators want Boston bombing suspect tried as enemy combatant

April 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM

WASHINGTON, April 20 (UPI) -- The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, captured after a five-day manhunt, should be tried as an enemy combatant, two Republican U.S. senators said.

Dzhokar Tsarnaev, 19, was arrested Friday evening but has not been formally charged.

Government investigators have invoked the public safety exception, allowing them to question Tsarnaev before advising him of his Miranda rights, a Justice Department official says. Usually, suspects are told they have the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning.

U.S. Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said Tsarnaev can be held as a potential enemy combatant under the Law of War, CNN reported Saturday.

"The last thing we should want is for him to remain silent," the senators said. "It is absolutely vital the suspect be questioned for intelligence gathering purposes."

It's "impossible" to consider the ethnic Chechen an enemy combatant, said Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor.

"There's no way an American citizen committing a domestic crime in the city of Boston could be tried as an enemy combatant. It could never happen," he said.

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