Documents have been presented to Congress confirming that plans were made to revoke the visa of Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, a Saudi national once considered a “person of interest” in the Boston bombings, a congressional source told TheBlaze on Thursday.
Other sources, including one at the FBI, previously informed TheBlaze that there have been discussions about deporting Alharbi on “security and related grounds.” He has been living in the Boston area and in the U.S. on a student visa. An FBI source said the agency is against deporting Alharbi because of his status as a material witness.
The congressional source told TheBlaze it was unclear as to why representatives from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be unaware of this information. Earlier on Thursday, an official with ICE said it was “categorically false” that Alharbi had ever been considered for deportation.
The congressional source, however, said the information sent to Congress showed that a file was created on “Abdul Rahman Ali Al Harby” at 4 p.m. on Tuesday by an official with the National Targeting Center, a counterterrorism sub-agency of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security. The file stated that the individual is “linked to the Boston bombing” and was to be processed for revocation of his visa based on national security grounds, the congressional source revealed.
The source confirmed seeing the information sent to members of Congress but could not provide copies of any documents to TheBlaze.
It is unclear why federal officials allegedly believed Alharbi was “linked” to the Boston Marathon attack. Simply being present at the scene could possibly result in such a distinction.
The source could not reveal if Alharbi knew or has ever been in contact with the two suspects in the Boston bombings identified by the FBI on Thursday.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had a fiery exchange with Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) during a House hearing Thursday morning over reports that Al Alharbi is being considered for deportation.
Napolitano refused to entertain a question regarding if it would be “negligence” to deport someone who just days ago was a person of interest. Watch her response and read her other fiery comments in our full write-up here.
Sen. Rand Paul reacted to TheBlaze’s report during a radio interview with Glenn Beck by saying he will be “looking into” the report. Read the full report here. Glenn Beck also addressed the the developing story surrounding Alharbi on his show on TheBlaze TV Thursday. Watch here.
The original report by TheBlaze about Alharbi’s possible deportation is available here.