A 21-year-old Saudi student injured in the Boston Marathon bombing in April says he is receiving death threats, despite having no connection to the attack other than as a victim.
Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi, who came to the United States to study English at the The New England School of English, was in the crowd when two improvised pressure cooker bombs exploded in downtown Boston on April 15. Three people were killed in the bombing, with 260 injured. Alharbi suffered cuts from the explosion.
Alharbi was questioned at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where a group of 20 FBI agents and police officers demanded to know his identification details, nationality, and Facebook password. He says he cooperated with the investigation, and answered all questions.
The news that a Saudi national was being interviewed at the hospital was widely reported in the media.
The day after the attack, Alharbi was cleared of all involvement, and the FBI clarified to the media that the Saudi citizen was not a suspect. Alharbi, along with other victims, was visited in the hospital by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Alharbi says he soon began to receive death threats, and was relocated by the Saudi embassy to a hotel room for his safety.
Right-wing bloggers and conspiracy theorists, led by former cable television personality Glenn Beck, have continued to insist that Alharbi has Al-Qaeda ties and was involved in the attack, even suggesting that Alharbi is secretly the son of assassinated Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.