The Saudi Person of Interest and Possible Explanations
For the past week, Glenn Beck and others have hinted that a Saudi student was somehow involved in the Boston bombing and the government is helping to cover up his involvement. I will assume that all of Beck’s evidence is actually correct and give you two possible explanations:
1) The Saudi kid, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, was a victim of the bombing. Immediately following the bombing, someone saw him acting suspiciously, which I assume meant running away from the bomb, and they told investigators. On this basis, the FBI thought he might be a “person of interest”. His name got spread through the media. Once he woke up in the hospital, he cooperated with authorities and gave them permission to search his house. After this search and the investigation that followed, authorities cleared him and started treating him as a witness.
Explaining the evidence:
However, since a Saudi national was being considered for the crime, the Saudi government got involved and likely had officials meet with officials in our government to discuss the situation. This happens whenever there is a high-profile arrest of a national from an allied country. Also, while the Saudi was a POI, an event documenting his status and preparing possible deportation based on a possible national security threat was put into his file. He was also temporary put on the terror watch list to ensure he can’t just leave the country. Keep in mind that an actual deportation order, not just a request, would need a judge. Only other options for removal are expedited orders from a CPB officer or a stipulated removal, neither of which apply here. No evidence there was a judge involved here. After the police cleared him, the file was updated to remove the deportation request and remove him from the watch list. That file was changed to clear him on April 17th, exactly two days following the bombing.
That version explains virtually all of Beck’s evidence and is basically what Janet Napolitano claimed occurred.
2) The other possibility is the one Beck and some others have seemingly suggested: This possibility involves this Saudi being directly involved in the bombing. After which, there were meetings between the Saudi’s and our government, and we decided to deport him despite his obvious guilt. However, once the news of deportation became public, the government had to change their mind. The evidence for this is the change in Alharbi’s file. Besides the fact that the WH does not directly dictate who does and does not get deported, this would also require for the FBI/Boston police/ and countless officials to know that there is evidence against this Saudi and choose to let him go anyways. In other words, it would require massive secret keeping and competence from a government that can hardly run a post office.
Am I saying the second option is impossible? No. Am I saying that it is unlikely and irrational to jump to that conclusion given that the first scenario is significantly more plausible? Yes.
If we find evidence that the Saudi kid was truly involved in the attack, then we should look into it. However, the simple explanation is usually the right one. So far, there is no real evidence of his involvement or a giant cover-up. Until someone presents me with proof of explanation 2, I’m going to stick to 1. Asking questions is good, but implying or assuming a conspiracy without evidence is not helpful to anyone. Especially since, like the boy who cried wolf, if you wrongly claim cover up too often, people won’t pay attention when you are actually correct about there being one.
The visa was originally for Ohio, but he now lives in MA. DHS has confirmed that he properly transferred the Visa.
Beck also points to how rare it is for anyone to receive the designation given in his event file. This is true, but that’s because it really is rare for us to have a terrorist attack and a “person of interest” with an immigration file.