Last April, during the running of the Boston Marathon, a tragic event occurred when two bombs exploded killing three people and injuring more than 260 others. Two brothers—Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—quickly became the FBI’s primary suspects for the bombings. Early in the investigation, another man was also named as a person of interest—a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student named Abdulrahman Alharbi. Boston Magazine reported that Alharbi “became the focus of public speculation for a brief time during the search for those responsible for setting off two pressure cooker bombs on Boylston Street.” Alharbi—who was injured in the bombing—had won a full scholarship to study English in Boston. He was questioned by police and ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter.
That wasn’t enough for Glenn Beck though. The well-known conspiracy theorist and former Fox News personality still had suspicions about the Saudi national. Last April, the radio host “urged the U.S. government to release information on Alharbi.” Beck said if the government didn’t, he would “expose” the young man. “Let me send this message very clear,” said Beck. “We know who this Saudi national is…. We know who this man is and, listen to me carefully, we know he is a very bad, bad, bad man.
Days later, Beck was still pushing his theory about Alharbi being involved in the monstrous act. Beck said, “While the media continues to look at what the causes were [behind] these two guys, there are, at this hour, three people involved.” He alleged that the U.S. government had “tagged” Alharbi as a “proven terrorist.” According to The Washington Post, Beck later claimed that Alharbi was an al-Qaeda “control agent” and the “money man” behind the attacks. “You know who the Saudi is?” Beck asked. “He’s the money man. He’s the guy who paid for it.”
Alharbi has now filed a defamation lawsuit against the radio host. “Alharbi claims that political commentator Glenn Beck and the company that carries his show, The Blaze, smeared his name in the media even after Alharbi was no longer the subject of the investigation.” (Boston Magazine)
The lawsuit says that Alharbi—like many others—was questioned by federal authorities who were investigating the events of the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon…and that “authorities quickly concluded that Mr. Alharbi, other than being injured in the attacks, had no involvement.” The lawsuit also says that “Beck repeatedly and falsely identified Mr. Alharbi as an active participant, repeatedly questioned the motives of federal officials in failing to pursue or detain Alharbi and repeatedly and falsely accused Mr. Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks.”
According to Alharbi’s complaint, Glenn Beck’s allegations “have haunted the Saudi student. Alharbi has received numerous messages, internet postings and other communications based on Beck’s false statements accusing him of being a murderer, child killer and terrorist.”
Glenn Beck Sued Over Boston Marathon Bombing Conspiracy Theory
Boston Marathon victim sues Glenn Beck (USA Today)
Blasts at Boston Marathon Kill 3 and Injure 100 (New York Times)
Saudi man investigated after Boston Marathon speaks out (Washington Post)