A man who was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings is suing Glenn Beck and his network for defamation after the radio host allegedly called him a suspect, Boston Magazine reported Monday.
Abdulrahman Alharbi, a Saudi Arabian student who lives in the Boston area, sustained minor injuries in the attacks and had his apartment searched by authorities in connection with the bombings. Alharbi argued that Beck and the company that carries his show, The Blaze, continued to implicate him as a suspect after he was cleared of any wrongdoing, according to court documents obtained by Boston Magazine.
“Beck repeatedly and falsely identified Mr. Alharbi as an active participant, repeatedly questioned the motives of federal officials in failing to pursue or detain Alharbi and repeatedly and falsely accused Mr. Alharbi of being a criminal who had funded the attacks,” the lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. district court in Massachusetts, read.
Well after authorities intentified the Tsarnaev brothers as suspects in the bombings, Beck continued to push the narrative that three people were behind the attacks. He claimed Alharbi was set to be deported for “terrorist activities” and called him the “money man” behind the scheme.
In an interview with Islamic Monthly published last May, Alharbi lamented his loss of privacy and said the media attacks only added to his injury.
“I have been trying to just forget it and all these stuff. … But I couldn’t forget, I am double injured from the explosion then from the media,” he said, as quoted by Islamic Monthly. “So, it’s not easy to forget. Because you just going to write my name and search about [me], you are going to think I am from Al-Qaeda and, like terrible things.”
The New York Post was similarly sued for libel by the two Boston residents whose photo was plastered across its front page in the aftermath of bombings under the headline “Bag Men,” implying that the two were suspects. The Post later defended the headline as just an “attention-getter.” The case is still pending.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.