Alharbi Says in Arabic Okaz.com Story Officials Apologized to Him

A photo allegedly of Alharbi included in the Okaz.com report.

The Saudi National who Blaze sources say at one point was going to be deported, allegedly spoke to a well-known Saudi news outlet explaining his situation and how events unfolded after the Boston bombings.

According to him, officials apologized “profusely” and even promised him “special health care.” Hospital and “security officials” also provided him with an international phone to call his family in Saudi Arabia after he lost his during the bombing and he was in contact with the Saudi Consul-General.

The information comes from Okaz.com and says it includes the account of Abdul Rahman Ali Issa Al-Salimi Al-Harbi, or Alharbi. Steven Miller, a research associate with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies translated the article for TheBlaze.

“I was in a state of panic and fear, so I did not think of anything except trying to picture what happened to me, until I realized, hours after I entered the hospital, that my mobile phone fell from me during the explosion…,” the outlet quotes him as saying, describing the scene immediately after the bombing.

“I spent a day and a half without contact with my family in Saudi Arabia or any of my colleagues, until hospital management and security officials provided me a phone to communicate with my colleagues. But I couldn’t remember any number, as I lost my mobile phone at the site of the marathon. I asked to contact my father in the Kingdom, so they provided me a phone with international service, and I had my first contact with my family.”

The outlet then explains that “Al-Harbi confirmed that his first communication after the bombing with [anyone] outside of his family was with the Saudi Consul-General in New York, Azzam bin Abdulkarim al-Qin,” who provided Alharbi with a list, compiled by local American officials, of Saudis injured in the explosion.

“Regarding allegations of his detention in a confined room at the hospital because he was a suspect, Alharbi denied that,”the report says, quoting him as saying, “‘Quite the contrary. In fact, officials apologized to me profusely about what happened, and they assured me that I would receive special health care, and expressed their willingness to meet my needs.’”

Alharbi’s apartment was searched the night of the bombing, with images of authorities hauling out articles being plastered on the news.

“Regarding his interrogation,” the article goes on to say, “he clarified that security officials asked him to focus on what he saw before the bombings, and on the nature of the event [to see] if he remembers what happened around him…he thanked American authorities who refuted media allegations about his status as a suspect…”

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officials have denied the claims made by a Blaze source that the government was considering deporting Alharbi despite questions of his involvement immediately after the bombings.