With revelations that Abdul Rahman Alharbi (once considered a person of interest in the Boston bombings) was put on a terror watch list briefly, was considered “armed and dangerous” at one point, and alleged photos suggesting the First Lady may have even visited him in the hospital, could it also be that Alharbi visited the White House? That’s the argument made by at least one website, citing this screenshot of White House visitor logs as evidence:
So did Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi visit the White House? TheBlaze took a look at White House visitor logs, and here’s our determination.
It’s possible that Abdul Rahman Alharbi visited the White House. But it’s also just as possible that he didn’t. We honestly don’t know. The website that originally published the picture of the logs mockingly cites the idea that “it was another ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi,'” but this idea isn’t actually that far-fetched. Both the first name “Abdul Rahman” and the last name “Al-Harbi” (or Alharbi) are common. Consider this partial list of people with the name “Abdul Rahman” from theBlaze’s White House visitors’ log tracker:
What about the last name Alharbi? Again, not unique to this person:
So by comparison, if someone said “John McIntyre” visited the White House, and there just happened to be a criminal named John McIntyre, would that mean it was the same person? Again, it’s possible, but not certain. “John” is an extremely common first name, and “McIntyre” isn’t much different:
Such is also the case with “Alharbi” and “Abdul Rahman.” In fact, more than one person with that name can be confirmed to have visited the White House, using the tracker (notice the difference in middle initials):
But let’s say one of these is the Abdul Rahman Alharbi. Does that mean he was visiting the White House for some secret purposes? Again, possible, but extremely unlikely. Why? Two reasons: Firstly, because in the records above, the most recent visit by anyone with that name is in 2011, when Alharbi would’ve been 18 years old. And if the person in question is Abdul Rahman A. Alharbi, the only visit is in 2009, when he would’ve been 16. In other words, probably too young to be of any significance to the White House.
Secondly, whenever anyone with the name Abdul Rahman Alharbi is listed as a White House visitor, the smallest group he’s listed as being part of is 18 people, and when he does enter with that group, the person signing him in — “TJ Zerr” — is apparently known for being a competent White House tour guide. Someone entering the White House in a group of over 200 people, meanwhile, is almost certainly a participant in a White House tour — in other words, no one of importance. In other words, it’s likely that Abdul Rahman Alharbi went to a few White House tours or group outings, the same way any number of Americans have. This doesn’t prove malice on the part of the White House.
Bottom line: It may well be that Abdul Rahman Alharbi visited the White House. There’s no evidence to suggest he did so in the service of some rarefied purpose, or that it’s even the same person. This rumor is possibly true, but not certainly so, and in fact, there are enough mitigating factors that it merits the benefit of a doubt.
This story has been updated with additional information.