A senior law enforcement official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told TheBlaze Thursday that reports claiming the department was deporting Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi under section 212 3B (“security and related grounds”) and had opened an “event” (or file) on the Saudi Arabian national following the Boston attacks is “categorically false.”
The official also told TheBlaze that Alharbi was never in custody nor ever considered for deportation by ICE, but that the department does have a different Saudi national in custody being held on grounds unrelated to the Boston bombings.
Reports have indicated that both Alharbi and another Saudi student were wounded in Monday’s blasts. While in the hospital for treatment following the attack, Alharbi was considered a “person of interest” and was guarded by law enforcement officials. He is now, according to law enforcement officials, no longer considered a person of interest.
The senior ICE official confirmed to TheBlaze that the department does currently have a different Saudi Arabian national in custody, but that that person is in “no way affiliated” with the Boston attacks, nor is the detainee one of the two Saudi nationals who were wounded on Monday.
The ICE official add that the man currently in ICE’s custody is from the Boston area and is being detained on visa violation issues only.
“The person we have in custody is not Alharabi, is not being deported, and is not connected at all to the Boston attack,” the senior law enforcement official told TheBlaze.
While the official did not say when the Saudi was taken into custody, is not being deported
“The person [we do have] is in custody for violations of his visa. Alharbi is here legally and is not being deported…Alharbi was never in ICE’s custody.” The ICE official added that Alharbi was never being considered for deportation.
A different ICE source had previously claimed Alharbi was slated for deportation by ICE under section 212 3B — “terrorist activities” — and that a file had been started on the Saudi student.
“That alleged source has no idea what they are talking about and their [claim] is categorically false,” the senior ICE official told TheBlaze in response.
The senior ICE official added that Homeland Security is working closely with the FBI to find out who perpetrated the attacks.
“Everyone wants to find out who was responsible,” the ICE official added.