Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi

On Sunday, April 21, I wrote on the curious case of the Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, the Saudi student (who was supposed to be attending school in Ohio) who was injured in the April 15 terrorist attack in Boston. Shortly after the bombing, sources confirmed with CNN that a Alharbi was a “person of interest” and then “in custody.” Then his Boston apartment (again, he was supposed to be attending school in Ohio) was searched. For hours. And then his roommate was questioned. For hours.

The next day it was reported that Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi was going to be deported for national security reasons. Shortly before a press conference on the Boston Marathon terror attack, in which reporters would undoubtedly ask about Alharbi’s status, there was a bomb threat. The press conference was nixed. Since I watch and gather news all day every day for my job, I found this to be incredibly odd.

Likewise, I found it odd that President Obama had an unscheduled meeting with the Saudi foreign minister that Wednesday. Topic: “Syria.”

What then transpired was a series of events, in which the “person of interest” who had been “in custody” and scheduled to be deported for “national security reasons” was suddenly turned into a ghost.

On April 18, Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina had this exchange with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano:

Jeff Duncan: CBS says this: This gentlemen is here on a student visa. He was at the scene with many other people. As everyone is standing in shock, three Boston PD detectives see this guy moving quickly out of the crowd. As they’re watching him he seems to be moving very deliberately, which could be a very natural thing after a bombing. They stop him to the hospital because he’s covered with blood. That’s straight off CBS. … And now we have someone who is being deported over national security concerns, and I’m assuming he has some sort of link to terror or he wouldn’t be deported. He was at the scene. … He could possibly ID the bomber. … He was at the scene, and yet were’ going to deport him.

Janet Napolitano: If I might representative, I am unaware of anyone who is being deported for national security concerns related to Boston. … I don’t even think he was technically a person of interest or a suspect. That was a wash. I am unaware of any proceeding there. I will clarify that for you. …

Jeff Duncan: Wouldn’t you agree with me that it is negligent for us as an American administration to deport someone who reportedly at the scene of a bombing and we’re going to deport him, not to be able to question him anymore. Is that not negligence?

Janet Napolitano: I am not going to answer that question. It is so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer. … There’s been so much reported on this that’s been wrong I can’t even begin to tell you, congressman. We will provide you with accurate information as it becomes available.”

A couple of days go by. It’s now Tuesday, April 23. Asked by Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on Alharbi’s status, Napolitano says:

Janet Napolitano: “He was not on a watchlist. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being interviewed, he was at that point put on a watchlist, and then when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.

Only days earlier the question about deportation was “not worthy of an answer,” but then on Tuesday, April 23 she admits that he had been placed on a watch list! So clearly, Rep. Duncan’s inquiry was most definitely worthy of an answer. People do not just willy-nilly end up on a watch list. It just doesn’t happen that way. The guy was in a hospital surrounded by law enforcement personnel, so why would he be placed on a watch list if they were simply questioning him?

Also, Napolitano says he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Exactly. He was in living in Boston when he was supposed to be studying in Ohio. And then he just so happened to wind up in the middle of a terrorist attack and he just so happened to be singled out by three detectives — at an event teeming with international participants and fans — as a guy who was acting strange enough to be pulled aside.

Long story short, this whole situation does not pass the sniff test, and there are very few media outlets who are interested in what their noses are telling them. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not big into Glenn Beck, but on this story he has been a profile in courage. Check out his site for the latest updates on this story since you won’t get much information from other news outlets.

Note: If you’re wondering why WordPress — a blogging platform which millions of other people have no problem accessing — is now turning up a security warning via Facebook for this particular blog, don’t ask me. It just started happening and readers are letting me know. I have put in a request to reclassify my blog as “safe” since someone with enough clout has obviously flagged my site as “abusive.”

Security Warning


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.


  1. It’s probably due to those tasteless ads wordpress insists on running. Or more likely the whimpering socialist cysty uglers twisting the controls at facebook. You know how they love you.

    Facebook: Never had it — never will.

    1. I thought it might be the ads at first, but now so many people have them connected to their blog that I can’t imagine WordPress would be that dumb. Who knows. I’ve had a little experience with the Facebook censorship clowns before when I worked at Heritage, though. Who knows.

  2. Great investigative blogging once again DE. At this point I really do wonder about which foreign country is Napolitano’s patron.

    As for Facebook, I log in to my page once every six weeks or so just to torture myself with what my family’s Liberal friends are saying. I have never seen such a conflagration of Neville Chamberlains about Muslim Jihad anywhere. That Facebook users would seek to stifle your blog is another brick in the wall for Liberal infantilism and spiteful intolerance.

  3. It’s *extremely* unlikely Facebook is censoring you, Doug. Have you not heard about the massive hacking action against WordPress accounts? Facebook’s likely playing it safe. Google “WordPress hacked” and read one of the hundreds of recent articles about it.

    And conflating specious conjecture and speculation about this kid into some kind conspiracy theory, while playing on the anti-Muslim and anti-government fears of many of your less-informed conservative brethren, seems reaching. This kid hasn’t been identified as being a nefarious element any more than the black-backpack-carrying team of Chris Kyle’s Craft mercenaries being present at the bombings makes this a “false flag” attack.

    There’s no way to refute conjecture, so there’s no point arguing this. If you think it stinks, good for you. I don’t and I think you should resist doing the same thing you lambasted the Reddit community for doing a few articles ago–a witch hunt.

    1. Why was a Saudi kid who was supposed to be attending classes in Ohio on a student visa living in Boston? Why was he put on the watch list? You don’t put someone on a watch list and then take them off with the ease that you and I decide whether to order pizza or Chinese takeout on a Friday night. Sorry. It doesn’t happen that way.

      There’s “no point in arguing” those questions because they’re damn good ones.

      Unlike the Reddit kids, I didn’t just pick someone out of the crowd. My questions were raised as a result of the actions of the federal government. Nice try, though.

    2. Remember when Facebook censored the SEAL meme on Obama/Benghazi and then had to reverse course when pressure was put on them? I do. That’s because I’m buddies with the guy who created it.

      Don’t tell me what is *extremely* likely with Facebook and what isn’t. I’m familiar with them and how they work when it comes to conservative messaging.

    3. Clearly Facebook is stifling the”conservative message.”


      That’s a hard argument to make. But perhaps disapproving one meme does make them part of the liberal apparachnik.

      Why not Google “Trend Micro Abuse” and do a little investigative sleuthing why your blog is considered “abusive?” Blaming Facebook easier?

    4. I’m not going to get into a Facebook debate with you here. Sorry.

      I know Larry. I can tell you many stories about his dealings with Facebook. And I know my blog was considered “abusive” when Larry started sharing my work. That’s all I will say on this forum. You know where to reach me if you want to discuss this further.

    5. MeAgain, I wouldn’t call the suspicion around this young man a conspiracy theory. There are legitimate questions that should be answered thoroughly. If the agency that gave him a 212 3B designation made an error, they should admit it and there should be an investigation into that careless move. There were many victims with different backgrounds and races, yet this young man was guarded, his home searched, roommates interviewed, and given “involved in terrorist activities” status. If it was due diligence, great, let the public know.. I’d like to know how many other victims or witnesses were temporarily put on a watch list as well. Because I’m a concerned citizen who loves her country and believes in a transparent government.

      Doug, you have a date wrong up there. April 13 should be 23. Great post, thank you for your service as well.

    6. Fixed that typo. Thanks!

      Thanks for the read, Eve. You see, like me, your questions were raised by the actions of the federal government. MeAgain wants to pretend you and me are on the same plane as kids on Reddit who just saw anyone who looked like they were from the Middle East or Africa (at an event filled with participants from all over the globe) and concluded he must be a part of a terrorist plot.

      If this kid was falsely accused, you know that MSNBC and other outlets would be chomping at the bit to tell his story about how bigoted Americans wrongly accused him. Where are they? They’re gone. They’re not covering it. Like I said, the guy has turned into a ghost.

    7. I agree those things should be looked into. Maybe they were. My issue is with some people working backwards for the answer from the answer they so desperately want: this kid is part of some sleeper cell jihadists group and he was somehow involved. Everything works backwards to support that premise. It should work the other way around.

    8. “Some people.”

      Got it. Well, I’m not “some people,” so I’d prefer to discuss the questions instead of having to prove that I am not one of “those” people.

    9. Okay. I have a question for you. What would have to be reported in the news for you to accept this guy as innocent?

  4. a Saudi national allowed to flee the country, just like 9/11. I’m guessing probably the skull and bones illuminati aliens are also somewhere behind this. dig deeper, Doug, and you may discover the truth.

    1. I notice you didn’t answer the questions: Why was a Saudi kid who was supposed to be attending classes in Ohio on a student visa living in Boston? Why was he put on the watch list?

      Typical Lizard19 behavior.

    2. I don’t think you’re asking the right questions. maybe you should inquire why Obama’s campaign was linked to Chechen Terrorism.

      or maybe you should start by asking why, IF he was involved, this Saudi kid allowed himself to be injured in the blast.

  5. Lizard, again, I think the general consensus here is that the initial questions need to be answered first: why has a young man who is only a victim been so quickly deemed 212 3B and subsequently cleared and forgotten (without even getting typical “falsely accused” MSM love), and why is the DHS avoiding answering questions fully and in a straight-forward manner. The questions stem from the government and media response, not necessarily the young man’s actions.

    As to why a young man who IS involved in an attack might stay too close. This might be oversimplifying, but I have four brothers and can’t count on both hands how many times I’ve witnessed black cat close calls. Call me crazy, but people blowing stuff up like to see it blow up.

    1. No, I think I clearly stated that my suspicions arise from the government and media response to this individual. I am not presuming his guilt, I am suspicious of the series of events surrounding him.

      I want whoever is involved in the bombings to be brought to justice for taking lives and causing harm and terror in our country. <– that's a period.

    2. Eve, it’s BECAUSE he’s a Saudi national, that’s why. if they want to fly home after 9/11 when ALL other planes are grounded, they get to do that. if they want to send troops into Bahrain, they get to do that. if a Saudi national student is accused of sexually assaulting a college woman, like what happened at my former school, the University of Montana, then he will get a heads up from the school administration that he is being investigated to give him enough time to jump on a plane and fly home.

  6. P.S., if I was this particular Saudi national, I would try to get the hell out of America as fast as possible as well, because this is a dangerous place for dark-skinned people.

    1. Is it just possible that this kid and the bombings are completely unrelated? I’ve seen absolutely zero, even in Glenn’s kooky conspiracy theory research, to draw even the faintest line connecting the two.

    2. Sure, it’s possible. I don’t think Beck or Doug have said it’s not. Again, the problem I have is how this story was covered (read: not covered) in the first place by the media, and how DHS handled the events that citizens have the right to question. Listen, if this young man has nothing to do with the bombing or terrorism, shouldn’t we question why he was given the designation of terrorist while being interviewed in the hospital? No one poses a threat while they’re sitting in the hospital.

      If, on the other hand, the suspicions surrounding all this do have some veracity, then why are special privileges being handed out to Saudis with “connections to the royal family” who might be involved in a successful terrorist bombing? If Alharbi was involved, he should be prosecuted, not given a pass because of his family or for any other reason.

      In other words, it is my sincere hope that it is our government’s first priority to protect our citizens. Why am I getting a sick feeling in my stomach after typing that.


  7. As I’ve scanned through the comments here, I have seen no one bring up the fact that the Obama administration protects terrorists. Case in point, the Fort Hood shooter. He has yet been to trial for “workplace” violence. Benghazi, no one has even been questioned in this attack. It took the FBI 3 weeks to go over there and stay 3 hours. Nothing done. The list goes on and on.This suspect/nonsuspect just follows the pattern of the Obama Adminstrationin dealing with these situations. Eve,I agree that there is something very fishy here. By the way, Michelle Obama made a very pointed visit to his young man.

    1. You mean that your run-of-the-mill doesn’t include some lunatic screaming “Allahu Akbar!” as he’s mowing down pregnant women? Hmmm.

      I’m looking forward to the testimony by the Benghazi whistleblowers next week. It’s about time. Hillary asked “What difference does it make?” Well … we’re going to find out.

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