Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi

Who is Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi? After the Boston terror bombings on Monday, April 15, Americans were told that the Saudi student was injured in the blasts orchestrated by Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Then we were told that the man was cleared — despite numerous bags being taken from his home that night.

Fast forward to Wednesday, when president Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. The meeting was not on his schedule.

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal at the White House on Wednesday and discussed the conflict in Syria, a spokeswoman said.

The meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule.

The spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, said the president joined a meeting between the Saudi official and Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon.

Syria? The conflict that has been going on for months? What could be going on in Syria that would require an unscheduled meeting with President Obama that Secretary of State John Kerry couldn’t handle? Nothing.

The media did human interest stories on eight-year-old Martin Richard. It told us about Krystal Campbell. It filled us in on 23-year-old Lu Lingzi, who went to Boston University to study statistics. And even though he didn’t die, it just doesn’t feel as though the media was not really interested in finding out anything about Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi. His Facebook page is readily available, so wouldn’t reporters at least do a cursory run though it?

Here’s what I found:

One of his “likes” include Ghazi Abdul Rahman Al Gosaibi — who was fired from his position as The Saudi ambassador to the United Kingdom for praising Palestinian suicide bombers (on the front page of the London-based Arabic newspaper, no less).

The Foreign Office is to rebuke Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to London over a poem he wrote praising Palestinian suicide bombers as martyrs who “died to honour God’s word”.

In his verse which appeared on the front page of the London-based al-Hayat,Ghazi Algosaibi singled out Ayat Akhras, a Palestinian girl who blew herself up in Jerusalem last month, and said the gates of heaven were opened for her.

He also attacked the United States, the main protector of the Saudi kingdom, writing: “We complained to the idols of a White House whose heart is filled with darkness.” …

The poem drew strong criticism from Jewish groups.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “appalled” by the poem and planned to send a letter of protest to the ambassador.

“It is deeply disturbing that a senior Saudi diplomat publicly supports the continued terrorist bombing campaign,” said spokeswoman Fiona Macaulay.

This is clearly condoning violence against Jewish people, and is a completely unacceptable position for the ambassador to take.”

What would happen if a Tea Party member was found at the site of a terrorist attack, and his Facebook page included a like for a well-known politician and poet who once said the "gates of heaven" would open for Timothy McVeigh? Would Salon cover it? Would Chris Matthews cover it? Objective observers know the answer is "yes."
What would happen if a Tea Party member was found at the site of a terrorist attack, and his Facebook page included a like for a well-known politician and poet who once said the “gates of heaven” would open for Timothy McVeigh? Would Salon cover it? Would Chris Matthews cover it? Objective observers know the answer is “yes.”

How does this square with news coverage at the time of his death, where he was portrayed as a moderate?

Married to a German woman, Gosaibi was popular in the west, and served as ambassador to Britain from 1992 to 2002. In Saudi Arabia he fought for women’s rights, but failed to win their right to drive, a highly symbolic issue. He attacked Islamist militants in his many books of non-fiction, his novels and poetry. He gave his views on Osama bin Laden in a speech at Westminster University in 2002. “Listening to him,” he said, “in some of his rambling interviews, I had the impression of a madman who thought he had defeated one superpower and was about to defeat the remaining superpower.

We don’t know the answer because these are not the stories the media wants to explore. Maybe Mr. Gosaibi is “moderate” like Samira Ibrahim is moderate — the woman whom the White House was going to honor with the “Women of Courage” award before it turned out she liked to Tweet the approval of suicide bombings.

What if a white male student was injured in the Boston blast on April 15, and his Facebook page included a “like” for a well-known individual who just-so-happened to approve of terrorism if the setting was right (e.g., I love America, but the “gates of heaven” will still open up for Timothy McVeigh)?

Do you think Salon would cover it? Given that David Sirota wrote a piece titled “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,” I think the Magic 8 ball would reply “yes.”

If Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi is deported and details emerge that would have prevented any sane government from allowing that to happen, it will be a serious blow to whatever credibility media have left.

Update: Janet Napolitano scrubs Alharbi’s record; media salute and walk on by

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

24 comments

  1. one must understand that the MSM is no longer objective, in fact they are aiding a distinct world view, one in which they firmly believe, and in the end I think they would proudly admit it much like an islamist proudly admits his crime and is eager to tell all – we should ask them directly, they may just sing like a canary…

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Wilson. It’s sad that when it comes to something as important as national security that the media can not manage to do the right thing.

  2. Our fearless leader was proud to “close the chapter” on the bombing. Looks like a few pages are missing in the rush to shut it down. Anyone remember Bengazi?

    1. I was thinking the same thing, hoboduke! You can’t just say “this chapter is closed … moving on.” It doesn’t work that way. There is clearly much more to this story.

  3. Thank you for reporting on this important story. It appears now that several congressmen have requested a classified briefing regarding this individual. The truth will only come out if we all remain vigilant.

    1. The day after Emerson started the deportation rumor Janet Napolitano clearly stated to a House Panel he is not being deported and that he was never a suspect. Several biased sites have ignored that and only reported how she smacked down Duncan’s repeated useless question. In fact, many have falsely claimed she refused to answer the question at all.

    2. The House Committee on Homeland Security has requested a classified briefing on this guy. You do realize the kind of information they’re privy to, right? They would not request a classified briefing on the man if they weren’t convinced there was something worth looking into about him — even if it ultimately turns out he’s clean.

      He said he had “no problem” with the FBI searching his house? Guess what, Kyle — he never had any say in the manner. They were searching his house. When you are at the site of a terror attack within the blast radius and the FBI asks to look at your stuff … you’re going to say “no problem.”

      I’m glad that you believe that because Janet Napolitano said he was “never” a suspect, then it must be true. In the 1950’s I take it you would have also believed public testimony that the U-2 didn’t exist.

    3. They searched his apartment only after he and his roommate gave permission so yes he did have a say in the matter. Maybe I am at an advantage for being in Boston so I might have access to more accurate information. I’m not saying he was not a suspect simply because of what Napolitano said. I’m pointing out he was tackled by ordinary people who attacked him because of what he looked like. In short, had they not acted on bigotry you and I probably would never have heard of him because law enforcement never saw him as a suspect and never had a reason to. Now, if you have information showing why they saw him as a suspect, such as a picture of him dropping a backpack near the finish line, by all means correct my ignorance.

  4. This is borderline NY Post irresponsible and frankly it is ironic you criticize journalistic agendas while carving one almost as wide as Steve Emerson’s false claim of him being deported. Or did you write a different price on that? Also, your reference to Sirota’s piece completely ignores his reasons for the title.

    This is a bombing victim. He was wrongly tackled for simply because of what he looked like. He was wrongly labeled as a suspect or person of interest, choose your spin. His apartment was searched because he told them exactly where he lived and had no problem with it being searched. They took bags. Who knows why? You actually believe all government employees are Columbo who do not make mistakes? This person was wrongly accused of being involved and even as this victim is recovering he keeps getting peppered by people like you and for the same reason he was wrongly tackled after the bombing: because of what he looked like.

    You assume he “liked” Dr. Ghazi AlQusaibi due to a connection to one short objectionable piece he authored. This is akin to claiming people who “like” Michael Jackson must do so because they also think sleeping with other peoples’ children is a “loving act.” Dr. Ghazi AlQusaibi was prolific and one of his last missions was fighting for equality for women in Saudi Arabia. Somehow that did not make it into your piece.

    Please do not insult our intelligence and claim you are simply asking a liberal media “what if” because the purpose of your hit piece had nothing to do with the media.

    1. Nice try, Kyle. Answer this question for me:

      What would happen if a Tea Party member was found at the site of a terrorist attack, and his Facebook page included a like for a well-known politician and poet who once said the “gates of heaven” would open for Timothy McVeigh? Would Salon cover it? Would Chris Matthews cover it?

      You didn’t address that because you know the point I was making crushes the media.

    2. My response was not to defend the media. If you combined all of the MSM’s respect for journalistic integrity and put it down the center of a coffee straw, it would look like someone from the International Space Station tossing a quarter into the Grand Canyon.

      You are claiming the media is acting on a political agenda by not running what you see as a story. Isn’t it possible the media is not going to continue to falsely smear someone they falsely accused of being a suspect? Isn’t it possible this victim deserves the same respect as the rest of the victims?

      How many media outlets dropped all Ann Coulter submissions after she said her only regret with McVeigh was he didn’t go to the New York Times building? How many Tea Party members still adore her?

    3. Ann Coulter is a parody of herself these days. She makes tasteless and crass and insensitive jokes because she knows it riles guys like you up. And there are people who get great glee from seeing guys like you freak out over her sick jokes. I am not one of those people.

      But there is a huge gap between a crude bizarre joke by a pundit and a former ambassador who says the “gates of heaven” will open for suicide bombers on the front page of London’s Arabic newspaper. And again, whether you care to defend the media or not, you didn’t answer my question. A simple “yes” or “no” will suffice:

      What would happen if a Tea Party member was found at the site of a terrorist attack, and his Facebook page included a like for a well-known politician and poet who once said the “gates of heaven” would open for Timothy McVeigh? Would Salon cover it?

    4. Your loaded question cannot be answered yes or no by agenda design. It grossly misrepresents the facts because he was not simply “spotted” at the site. He was falsely accused of being a suspect. Falsely accused of being deported. Do you really want us to believe with all the pictures of all the people there are no Tea Party members with similar info on their social media page? The answer to your question as you have asked it is “no” but your question has nothing to do with the issue because you failed to respect basic facts.

      Your assumption Coulter could get me riled is highly revealing. I’ve never cared what she said but only pointed to it in cases like this and never claimed or assumed you were in her fan club on any level. However, dismissing what she said as a joke to alleviate the Tea Party allegiances to her are disappointing coming from someone to claim integrity is key.

      How many Tea Party members and media outlets disowned Oreilly after he gave al-qaeda the green light to attack San Francisco? The worst part? He made the comments on the false claim the city voters approved a ban on military recruiters. Regardless, he clearly and very seriously stated his view is it was okay for an American city to be attacked by a terrorist group for nothing but a political disagreement. If you try to excuse his comments as sarcasm it will only further reveal I am correct about criticizing the fact you are practicing the same agenda driven journalism you accuse others of doing.

    5. “The answer to your question as you have asked it is ‘no’…”

      That’s all I needed. I’m not sure how anyone can say that with a straight face, but thanks for answering.

    6. You cherry picked a quote from my response and ignored the rest which was quite relevant. No need with a response as I will not bother looking for one because you demonstrated exactly what I pointed out about being agenda driven. You even ignored the fact your question is based on false information. Sad. I was expecting more from a fellow Vet.

    7. Your assertion that he was falsely considered a suspect and that it was falsely reported that he would be deported is based on your belief that Janet Napolitano’s testimony was 100% truthful, even though it was filled with outs (e.g., “to my knowledge…”). So unless I agree with your premise, which is that Napolitano was telling the truth, then there is no point to continue arguing it.

      “I was expecting more from a fellow Vet”? Really? Nice appeal to emotion, there. Sad.

  5. Doug, here is the reason Duncan and others gave for requesting the hearing:

    “However, media reports have continued to raise concerns about this individual and adjustments that may have been made to his immigration status, including possible visa revocation and terrorist watch-listing, in the days following the bombing.”
    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/04/21/key-congressmen-requests-classified-briefing-on-saudi-person-of-interest-in-boston-bombing/

    That is it. Apparently the special info they are privy to as you claimed is having access to the media. Notice they failed to cite which media. Lest they blaze a trail of embarrassment. Also notice the story on that site still tries to claim Napolitano never answered the question about the deportation issue. At least Duncan and company had the integrity to acknowledge the fact she did answer the question.

    1. They’re on the The House Committee on Homeland Security. Do you really think they didn’t cross check with sources within the different agencies before they challenged her on it? You do not simply request a classified briefing unless there is classified information you want to examine.

      So at in international event with tens of thousands of people — many from all over the globe — this is the lone guy who just so happened to be tackled for how he looked and he just so happened to be a Saudi national connected to the royal family … and he just so happened to be here on a student visa (for an Ohio school if I’m not mistaken, which makes his time in Boston rather strange) … and he just so happened to be of interest to the FBI to the extent that they would go into his home and pull all sorts of boxes out of it. And then, right before a press briefing where reporters would ask about his status, there just so happened to be a bomb threat that helped nix the whole thing. And then President Obama just so happened to have an unscheduled meeting with the Saudi foreign minister.

      Got it. In your world there was no reason for investigative reporters to look into who this guy is.

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