Hours after it was debunked, Glenn Beck continued to beat the drum of a conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is deporting a Saudi national who was behind the tragic bombings at the Boston marathon.
The conspiracy theory arose when Steve Emerson, a guest on Fox News' Hannity, accused the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of preparing to deport a Saudi national “person of interest” in the bombings at the Boston marathon. Right-wing blogs like Glenn Beck's The Blaze, Breitbart.com, WND, and Infowars quickly latched on to the story, alleging President Obama wishes to cover up Saudi Arabian and Al Qaeda ties to the attack.
The myth pretends that a Saudi national who was hospitalized after sustaining injuries in the bombing -- initially reported to be a “person of interest,” though he never was -- is the same man DHS is allegedly in the process of deporting for visa violations.
DHS soundly discredited the conspiracy theory this afternoon, explaining to CNN's Jake Tapper that the rumors are confusing two very different men.
Still, hours later, Beck continued to run with the debunked conspiracy on his television program, claiming his “sources” knew better (emphasis added):
We at the Blaze know that this Saudi national is a bad, bad, bad man ... This administration is playing an extraordinarily dangerous game. They have very little regard for what it takes to be a citizen. Before the sequester cuts happened, they opened the prison and let illegals out. Who does that? Remember also, the Saudi national that was -- is about to get on a plane -- involved in blowing the legs off of American citizens, being held in protective custody or being protected, at least, by our administration. He will be put in protective custody and the plans are to deport him.
Beck's claims, of course, are far from true.
One Saudi national is in a Boston hospital and “is not a suspect, nor is he a person of interest. He was an individual at the marathon, and therefore, like so many individuals, has been questioned,” DHS clarified today, according to Tapper. He went on:
There is a second Saudi national from the Boston area who is in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody for being in violation of his visa. This case has nothing to do with the Boston Marathon.
The FBI was contacted regarding the Saudi national who was taken into ICE custody, but DHS tells CNN that individual is in no way connected to the Boston Marathon bombing.
A DHS official concluded to Buzzfeed.com, “The rumor is one hundred percent false ... One hundred percent false.”
The aftermath of the Boston bombing has been marked with inaccurate reporting from right-wing media.