Let’s pick up where last week's column left off with that Saudi national in Boston – Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the 20-year-old “student” who was acting suspiciously enough after the Boston bombing to be “detained” under guard at the hospital and named a person of interest in the April 15 attack.
That same day, law enforcement searched Alharbi’s Boston-area apartment for seven hours, leaving with bags of evidence at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16. On Tuesday afternoon, a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security created what is called an “event file” on Alharbi, calling for his visa to be revoked due to ties to terrorism. That same afternoon, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would inform the Senate Intelligence Committee that Alharbi was now merely a “witness.”
This exonerating designation pulled the public eye off of Alharbi, but only temporarily. On Wednesday night, April 17, Steven Emerson refocused our attention on Alharbi when on Fox News’ “Hannity” show; the terrorism expert broke the news that Alharbi was scheduled to be deported on “national security grounds.”
Since then, however, it has been a struggle to keep this sensational story in sight. The administration has categorically dismissed it, and the media have followed suit – which is better than anything the Saudi dignitaries sweeping through Washington after the Boston bombing could have hoped for.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has done her overbearing best to discredit even elected officials with the temerity to ask questions about it. In an April 18 exchange with Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Napolitano exploded when Duncan, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked why the Saudi witness, apparently connected to terrorism by his deportation order, was slated to leave the country when the Boston investigation was just beginning? Calling the premise of the congressman’s question a “rumor,” Napolitano replied: “I’m not going to answer that question. It’s so full of misstatements and misapprehensions that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”
Maybe Her Secretary-ness was relying on alterations to the original Alharbi file that, The Blaze would later report, were made on the evening of Wednesday, April 17, “to disassociate him (Alharbi) from the initial charges.”