Beck Must ID ‘Sources’ of Bombing Reporting

     BOSTON (CN) – Glenn Beck must reveal the government sources he cited when accusing a Saudi student of direct involvement with the Boston Marathon bombing.
     Abdulrahman Alharbi, 23, is suing Beck and his media company The Blaze for defamation over Beck’s reporting after Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev detonated a pair of bombs at the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013, killing three and maiming dozens of others.
     Alharbi was among the group of injured spectators. Though questioned by U.S. authorities after the bombing while receiving treatment at the hospital, he was subsequently exonerated of any charges related to the attack.
     Beck nevertheless repeatedly reported in the month after the attack that the student had been the “money man” for the Chechen brothers, going as far as to claim that Alharbi gave the order to set off the attacks.
     After failing to have Alharbi’s case dismissed, Beck and his staffers testified in deposition hearings that the reporting relied on information from “confidential sources.”
     U.S. District Judge Patti Saris ordered Beck to reveal those sources on Aug. 9.
     The 61-page decision notes that Saris tried to avoid compelling the identification of Beck’s sources by studying investigatory records from the FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice and the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office.
     “None of the documents supports the idea that Alharbi was ‘the money man’ financing the Boston Marathon attacks,” Saris wrote.
     Saris stipulated in a Wednesday order that the names of the confidential sources must be provided to her by Aug. 17.
     The names will remain under seal and any depositions taken from the sources will be prerecorded in a manner that conceals their identities.
     Though other media outlets also reported on Alharbi, most only went as far as reporting that he was a person of interest or that he had been questioned by federal agents.
     Janet Napolitano, who had been secretary of Homeland Security at the time, later testified before Congress that Alharbi was not involved in the attack in any way, describing his situation as being “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
     “He was never even really a person of interest,” Napolitano said. “Because he was interviewed, he was at that point put on a watch list. And then, when it was quickly determined he had nothing to do with the bombing, the watch listing status was removed.”
     Blaze producer Joe Weasel has claimed that he took notes from his conversation with the confidential sources on a series of Post-It Notes that he later discarded.
     Following the secretary’s testimony, two sources within Homeland Security disputed Napolitano’s claim to Weasel.
     Weasel claimed that The Blaze was able to confirm its information on the Alharbi with his two sources.

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