Glenn Beck is being sued by a Boston man who claims the radio show host continued to implicate him as a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing even after federal investigators had cleared him of wrongdoing.
Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who lives outside of Boston, was investigated by police in the days after the bombing, before the search zeroed in on the Tsarnaev brothers. Alharbi claims that Glenn Beck and his news company The Blaze smeared his name even after the real suspects were found.
Abdulrahman Alharbi was walking to meet friends for lunch when he was injured in the bombing. In the days after, as Alharbi was recovering in a hospital, he was visited by police and gave them permission to search his home in Revere.
Word soon got out that police were investigating Abarbi. The Islamic Monthly noted that “the media discovered his full address and publicized it while filming the FBI search of his apartment. By early Tuesday, reports of his full name and photos from his Facebook account were circulated.”
He was later cleared, but Beck continued to tell listeners that Alharbi was a “terrorist” and a participant in the bombing.
In a six-page filing to the US District Court in Massachusetts, Alharbi’s lawyer Peter Haley wrote:
“On and after April 15, Beck broadcast repeated statements distributed and published to others…identifying Alharbi as an active participant in the crimes that were committed in Boston. Beck falsely accused Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon…the statements made by Beck were false.”
Alharbi claimed that Glenn Beck “substantially and severely” damaged Alharbi’s reputation, prompting many messages online calling him a “murderer” and “child killer.”
Glenn Beck was also criticized in the wake of the bombing for his accusation against Albarbi, which included a government cover-up. Beck said two FBI sources told him the man “demonstrated [himself] to be a proven terrorist and to be engaged in proven terrorist activity,” but was released after a secret meeting between President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the foreign minister and ambassador from Saudi Arabia.