Holder balks at blaming ‘radical Islam’

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Mr. Holder said he expects the Justice and Homeland Security departments will finish their review of the Arizona law soon.

Meanwhile, the failed Times Square attack is the latest incident in which the administration has found itself explaining its strategy toward terrorism.

Authorities on Thursday raided several locations in the Northeast and detained at least three people on immigration violations, Mr. Holder said.

He said they suspect the three people were involved with providing funds to the suspected bomber, though it was unclear whether they had knowledge of specific plans to try to ignite a car bomb in Times Square.

The attorney general said the Pakistani Taliban is likely responsible for the attack.

Mr. Holder also detailed his plan, raised last weekend, to try to expand the exceptions to Miranda rights warnings police are supposed to give before questioning a suspect.

Mr. Holder said there’s already an exception for public safety, in which evidence is accepted if it was obtained while authorities were trying to head off immediate danger, such as asking a gunman where his gun is. The attorney general said he wants Congress to update that exception for the current fight against terrorists, so officers could ask a suspect if another attack is imminent or if other bombs have been planted.

The American Civil Liberties Union said that was a worrisome departure, and pointed to Mr. Holder’s repeated testimony that reading Miranda rights hasn’t hurt interrogations thus far.

“Even if the administration proposes broadening Miranda exceptions only in terrorism cases, the change is sure to bleed into non-terrorism cases, as there is no way for an arresting officer to know upfront whether or not an arrestee will be charged with terrorism-related crimes,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office.

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