WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Peter King says the Nigerian man accused of attacking an airliner as it approached Detroit should be tried by a military tribunal rather than a civilian court.

King (Seaford), the leading Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, said Tuesday it will be more difficult for authorities to get useful information from the suspect if he is given the legal rights afforded to defendants in civilian courts, including the right to a lawyer.

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The suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has been charged in federal court with trying to detonate the device as the plane approached Detroit on Friday, Christmas Day. The device burst into flames instead, according to authorities, and he was subdued by passengers.

King appeared on NBC's "Today" show.