WASHINGTON (AP) — Despite cooperation with federal agents that is stretching into a third day, Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad could potentially face life in prison if indicted and convicted on terrorism charges, the attorney general told Congress Thursday.

“We will continue to pursue a number of leads as we gather intelligence relating to this attempted attack,” Eric Holder told a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing.

“Mr. Shahzad is in fact continuing to cooperate with us,” has provided useful information and if convicted, faces a potential life sentence in prison, Holder said.

“There is simply no higher priority than disrupting potential attacks and bringing those who plot them to justice,” the attorney general said.

The arrest of Shahzad has provided an opportunity for the attorney general and the Obama administration to display a success in the fight against terrorism following Holder’s ill-fated decision last year to put reputed Sept. 11 attack mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (HAH’-leed shayk moh-HAH’-med) and four accused co-conspirators on trial in New York. The White House stopped that effort.

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Democrats at the hearing praised Holder for law enforcement’s performance on the Shahzad case.

“It was pretty remarkable to see all the pieces come together,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland called it “amazing” that Shahzad had been taken into custody Monday night in such a short time after the Saturday evening bombing attempt.

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Holder cited an earlier thwarted plot to bomb New York City’s subway system, in which a key participant, Najibullah Zazi, pleaded guilty to terrorism violations.

The Shahzad and Zazi cases reflect “exemplary investigative efforts” by federal agents, law enforcement officers and Justice Department prosecutors, the attorney general said in his prepared remarks.