Washington — Senior Obama administration officials revealed late Tuesday they’ve secretly gained the cooperation of family members of Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab to help get the Christmas Day airline bomb suspect talking.
The cooperation effort has led to actionable intelligence that could help prevent terror attempts on U.S. soil, the senior officials said.
The revelation is part of an aggressive attempt by the White House to push back on Republican claims the Obama administration mishandled the terror investigation, with AbdulMutallab being read his Miranda rights shortly after he began cooperating with investigators.
After giving the U.S. some information in the early stages of the probe, AbdulMutallab stopped talking about his attempt to blow up an airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear.
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The senior administration officials disclosed that on January 1, just days after the attempted terror attack, two FBI agents secretly flew to Lagos, Nigeria, to meet with officials of the CIA and the State Department. They began an extensive investigation and tried to work with AbdulMutallab’s family in hopes of gaining his cooperation.