The House Committee on Homeland Security on Sunday emailed TheBlaze a copy of their request to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for more information on the Saudi national originally described as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing.
The Saudi national — originally identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — has been the topic of fierce debate in recent days, after he was reportedly set to be deported under section 212 3B of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) – “Security and related grounds” – “Terrorist activities,” after the bombing.
The story gained a curious twist when, after it gained more traction, President & Chief Content Officer for TheBlaze Joel Cheatwood received word from one of his investigative reporters that “there is now discussion that they may not allow this man to be deported.”
When Napolitano was asked about the issue by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan last week, she said his question was “so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”
ICE sources later told TheBlaze that a separate Saudi national was in custody, and that he is “in no way affiliated” with the Boston attacks.
Now, the House Committee on Homeland Security wants some answers.
Here is a copy of the letter, signed by Chairman Michael T. McCaul, Chairman Jeff Duncan of the subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency, Chairman Peter King of the subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and Chairman Candice Miller of the subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security:
The letter reads:
We are writing to request a classified briefing on Department of Homeland Security information and actions related to the case of the original person of interest in the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 22, 2013.On Thursday, April 18th, you testified before the Committee on Homeland Security and responded to a question related to this individual’s immigration status by saying that you “were unaware of anyone being deported for national security concerns at all related to Boston.” However, media reports have continued to raise concerns about this individual and adjustments that may have been made to his immigration status, including possible visa revocation and terrorist watch-listing, in the days following the bombing.We request the Department provide a detailed overview of the records associated with this individual to include his law enforcement and immigration records prior to April 15, 2013, as well as his current status. We request briefers from the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection.We appreciate your immediate attention to this issue and anticipate your prompt reply.
The committee says it has copies of the original deportation order, and has confirmed to TheBlaze and several other media outlets that the facts are as we reported last week.