The alleged Christmas Day bomber has been cooperating with investigators since last week, reports The Associated Press, citing an unnamed federal law enforcement official.
The leak comes on the same day as a congressional hearing in which law enforcement and intelligence officials defended the Justice Department’s decision to read Miranda rights to the alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, hours after he was arrested.
Attorney General Eric Holder has taken the brunt of the criticism from Republicans and some Democrats who argue that Abdulmutallab should have been transferred to military custody immediately or interrogated further before being given the warning.
Abdulmutallab has been giving authorities actionable intelligence that FBI agents working with the intelligence community have been following up on, the official told the AP.
FBI Director Robert Mueller told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Abdulmutallab talked to FBI agents after he was arrested on Christmas Day, speaking freely until he went into surgery for burns on his legs.
He clammed up afterward, and once agents were satisfied he wouldn’t answer anymore questions, they read him his Miranda rights.
Mueller said the FBI has been able to obtain intelligence from Abdulmutallab since the Miranda warning, though he did not elaborate.
Here’s the exchange between Mueller and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine):
Snowe: Not having the collective weight of the intelligence community to really zero in on this particular individual at this moment in time is really disconcerting and troubling.
Mueller: Let me just add one other point, and that is, it is a continuum. In other words, you can look at it in that day, but I encourage you to look at what has happened since then. It is a continuum in which over a period of time we have been successful in obtaining intelligence — not just on day one, but day two, day three, day four, day five, and down the road.
Click here for a video of the hearing.