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White House: Tsarnaev won't be treated as enemy combatant

The government will not treat suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

The White House came out against the demands of some hawkish Republicans to declare Tsarnaev an "enemy combatant," which would give them more leeway in questioning the alleged bomber for the purposes of gaining intelligence about the Boston attack.

"He will not be treated as an enemy combatant," Carney said at Monday's press briefing. "We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice."

While many Republicans have largely acknowledged that Tsarnaev would be tried eventually in criminal court, some urged the administration to assert the ability to treat Tsarnaev as an combatant. The Chechnya native is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and is being questioned in a hospital bed under a public safety exception to the Miranda rule.