All week, TheBlaze has been following up on the Saudi national who was initially investigated for several hours before being downgraded to merely a witness and ultimately released. Where is he now? What did authorities find in his apartment? These are just some of the questions remaining as the case continues to unfold. And earlier today, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano revealed that Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi was placed on a watch list.
But today, speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on immigration reform, Napolitano responded to a question by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
“Before the [Tsarnaev] brothers became the focus of the investigation, authorities questioned a Saudi student who reportedly was on a terror watch list,” Grassley said. “I sent a letter to you this morning asking for answers to questions about the bombers and how they interacted with your agency, I trust you will promptly respond…”
“With regard to the Saudi student, was he on a watch list, and if so, how did he obtain a student visa?” Grassley asked.
Napolitano firmly responded: “He was not on a watch list. What happened is — this student was, really when you back it out, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was never a subject. He was never even really a person of interest. Because he was being 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.” [Emphasis added]
That’s a very different statement than what Napolitano had said when questioned about the story last week when she told Rep. Duncan that his questions were “so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer”.
On radio this morning, Glenn updated viewers on the latest developments this story and asked many of the outstanding questions surrounding the Saudi national: