This week's syndicated column
Let’s pick up where last week’s column left off with that Saudi national in Boston – Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, the 20-year-old “student” who was acting suspiciously enough after the Boston bombing to be “detained” under guard at the hospital and named a person of interest in the April 15 attack.
That same day, law enforcement searched Alharbi’s Boston-area apartment for seven hours, leaving with bags of evidence at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16. On Tuesday afternoon, a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security created what is called an “event file” on Alharbi, calling for his visa to be revoked due to ties to terrorism. That same afternoon, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper would inform the Senate Intelligence Committee that Alharbi was now merely a “witness.”
This exonerating designation pulled the public eye off of Alharbi, but only temporarily. On Wednesday night, April 17, Steven Emerson refocused our attention on Alharbi when on Fox News’ “Hannity” show, the terrorism expert broke the news that Alharbi was scheduled to be deported on “national security grounds.”
Since then, however, it has been a struggle to keep this sensational story in sight. The administration has categorically dismissed it, and the media have followed suit – which is better than anything the Saudi dignitaries sweeping through Washington after the Boston bombing could have hoped for.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has done her overbearing best to discredit even elected officials with the temerity to ask questions about it. In an April 18 exchange with Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Napolitano exploded when Duncan, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked why the Saudi witness, apparently connected to terrorism by his deportation order, was slated to leave the country when the Boston investigation was just beginning? Calling the premise of the congressman’s question a “rumor,” Napolitano replied: “I’m not going to answer that question. It’s so full of misstatements and misapprehensions that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”
Maybe Her Secretary-ness was relying on alterations to the original Alharbi file that, The Blaze would later report, were made on the evening of Wednesday, April 17, “to disassociate him (Alharbi) from the initial charges.”
But it was too late – and here’s where the story gets really juicy. Glenn Beck and The Blaze have now reproduced a copy of a page from the original April 16 file on Alharbi. In terse government lingo, this document makes clear that 1) Alharbi was a terrorism risk to the public, and 2) federal authorities who permitted him into the country were negligent. No matter what Napolitano says, this story is no rumor.
Let’s examine the document, one line at a time. It first tells us: “Subject is an exact match to NO FLY TPN# 1037506192.”
In other words, Alharbi’s name and particulars show up on a no-fly list.
“Derogatory information reviewed by (Watch Commander) Mayfield and (Chief Watch Commander) Maimbourg was found to be sufficient to request Visa revocation. NTC-P is requesting revocation of Foil No. e3139541.”
A “foil” number is a visa number. “NTC-P” is the acronym for National Targeting Center – Passengers. This is a sub-agency of Homeland Security charged with providing intelligence in order to prevent terrorists and criminals from entering the country – or, in this case, ejecting them from it.
“Subject is inadmissible to the U.S. under INA 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(II).” This red-hot “3B” designation specifically connects Alharbi to terrorism.
“SAO was not completed prior to Visa issuance.” SAO stands for Security Advisory Opinion. The U.S. requires SAO background security checks on visa applicants suspected of being national security risks, and visa applicants who have links to state sponsors of terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria) or “the list of 26″ Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia.
Basically, we now know we have had an unvetted Saudi on the loose, who, Beck would also report, the Alharbi “event file” also indicated to be “armed and dangerous.” Alharbi’s student visa, by the way, permitted him to study in Ohio. Meanwhile, he was living in Boston.
Remember Hani Hanjour, who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon? In 2000, the 28-year-old Saudi was admitted on a student visa to study in Oakland. He joined his al-Qaida cell in San Diego instead. Hanjour was one of about 5,500 Saudis enrolled in the U.S. at the time.
Thanks to a reckless agreement to boost Saudi enrollment in the U.S. (why?) between George W. Bush and Saudi Arabia in April 2005, Alharbi is one of roughly 35,000 – an increase since 9/11 of more than 600 percent! How many other Saudi students are here despite SAOs that remain incomplete?
We don’t know. We don’t even know Alharbi’s current status or whereabouts. The government is mum. The media are AWOL – even after Beck published the proof of Alharbi’s “3B” terrorism designation. Naturally, part-Saudi-owned Fox News, where the deportation story broke, isn’t following the story. Hannity, too, appears to have let it drop. [Update: Glenn Beck appeared on "O'Reilly" to present his and The Blaze's findings 4/25/13. Let's see if there is follow-up.]
The last scrap I read about Alharbi’s current activities actually came from the Saudi newspaper Okaz (translated by Walid Shoebat), which, freakily, reported that first lady Michelle Obama paid an April 18 visit to 3B-Alharbi in the hospital.
Four GOP members of the House Homeland Security Committee have requested a classified briefing on the Saudi case from Napolitano – Duncan, Peter King of New York, Candice Miller of Michigan and Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas. They are still waiting for a reply.
Napolitano did, however, ‘fess up to something new about Alharbi this week. He was, she explained in a very convoluted way to the Senate Judiciary Committee, placed on the terrorism watch list, briefly, after the Boston bombing.
And then what happened?