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“I am not at all surprised by that. I was not surprised by the Christmas Day bomber. I am not surprised at all that there are those that believe that there are other English speakers out there,” Mr. Hoesktra said.

Mr. Hoekstra and his Senate intelligence committee counterpart, Sen. Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican, have said publicly that it was a mistake for the FBI to read Mr. Abdulmutallab his constitutional rights as a criminal after he was detained in Detroit. When he was arrested, a high value interrogation group that the Obama administration had established for questioning terrorists was not completely operational.

The White House has defended the decision to treat Mr. Abdulmutallab as a criminal on the grounds that the suspect’s family has coaxed him into cooperating, something that likely would not have occurred had he not been afforded access to counsel.