Following the bombing at the Boston Marathon last year, Glenn Beck went on a personal crusade to prove that the Obama administration was engaged in a massive cover-up of the role that an al Qaeda operative played in the attack and was doing so for the benefit of the Saudi Arabian government.
Beck infamously gave the US government three days to come clean about the cover-up before he exposed it on his network. When those three days passed, Beck launched into a full-scale campaign to prove that Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, who was injured in the bombing, was actually an al Qaeda “control agent” and the “money man” who financed the operation and recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry it out.
Beck’s theory rested on the fact that Alharbi had once been considered a “person of interest” during the investigation but was quickly cleared. Beck’s network received information during the investigation that Alharbi “was set to be deported under section 212 3B” for “terrorist activities” and it was upon that piece of information that Beck built his entire campaign, as he spent days hammering away, challenging everyone to disprove his theory and warning that they would only discredit themselves if they tried to do so.
Eventually, Beck’s crusade came to a grinding halt when he brought a former INS special agent onto his program to bolster his theory but, instead, watched as Bob Trent blew a hole right through it by pointing out that the 212 3B designation and Beck’s entire timeline “doesn’t make sense.”
After that, Beck more or less abandoned the issue, though he continued to personally believe in his original conspiracy and mention it from time to time.
And now, nearly one year later, Beck and his company are being sued by Alharbi for defamation and slander:
Glenn Beck defamed on his radio show a Middle Eastern victim of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing as a criminal participant in it, the man claims in Federal Court.
Abdulrahman Alharbi sued Beck, The Blaze Inc., Mercury Radio Arts and Premiere Radio Networks for defamation and slander.
Alharbi describes himself in the 6-page lawsuit as “a 20-year-old student who was a spectator at the Marathon and was injured in the bombing. Mr. Alharbi, like many others, was questioned by federal authorities investigating the events of that day. Those authorities also, with his permission, searched his apartment. The responsible officials quickly concluded that Mr. Alharbi, other then being injured in the attacks, had no involvement in the attacks. Many news outlets reported the facts of the search of an apartment and that authorities had questioned a man of Middle Eastern descent. When the authorities concluded that Mr. Alharbi had no involvement, reports ceased. The defendant Glenn Beck, with the active participation of the distributor defendants, repeatedly and falsely identified Mr. Alharbi as an active participant in the crimes that were committed on April 15, 2013, repeatedly questioned the motives of federal officials in failing to pursue or detain Mr. Alharbi and repeatedly and falsely accused Mr. Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon. Those statements were made widely and publicly. The statements were false and did grave injury to the plaintiff.”
Beck, The Blaze and Mercury Radio all are based in Texas, defendant Premiere in California. Beck’s show is owned by Blaze and its corporate parent Mercury, according to the complaint.
The complaint adds: “Beck falsely accused Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon.
“On or about May 8, 2013, and at repeated and diverse times thereafter, Beck stated that Alharbi was the ‘money man’ who had funded the attacks at the Boston Marathon.
The statements made by Beck were false.”
Alharbi says he has “received numerous messages … based on Beck’s statements accusing him of being a murderer, child killer and terrorist.”
He seeks punitive damages for defamation with malice.