POLITICS -- May 4, 2010 at 3:31 PM ET
Politico Reporter: White House Taking 'Law Enforcement Approach' on Terror
Politico White House reporter Josh Gerstein stopped by the Rundown Tuesday to talk about his coverage of the late Monday arrest of Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the attempted bombing in Times Square. Shahzad was removed from a flight that was preparing to take off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for Dubai.
At a Tuesday afternoon news conference, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Shahzad will face terrorism and weapons of mass destruction charges.
"Based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in our country," Holder said.
The attorney general said that Shahzad admitted his involvement in the plot and provided useful information to authorities both before and after he was read his Miranda rights.
Gerstein said that the Obama administration is taking a nuanced approach to the failed bombing attempt, and terrorism policy in general, by highlighting the importance of the criminal justice system as the main tool for dealing with accused terrorists.
He said that Holder went out of his way Tuesday morning to address early criticisms about how the government handled the failed Christmas Day airliner bomb plot, emphasizing cooperation between agencies and how the suspect was detained and questioned.
"The Obama administration wants to send the message that the regular processes of law enforcement are working, that the standard methods of investigating crimes, of charging people, of taking them to court and convicting them and putting them in jail are proceeding and proceeding successfully," Gerstein said.
The White House is also dealing with the Gulf Coast oil spill, which Gerstein said involves some of the same key players who are responsible for managing the attempted bomb plot. But the administration maintains that it's ready to juggle multiple incidents simultaneously, he said.