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Glenn Beck Must Disclose Sources for Marathon Bombing Reports

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck must disclose the names of confidential sources for his reports alleging that a Saudi Arabian student injured in the Boston Marathon bombing funded the 2013 attack. A federal judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss a defamation suit against Beck and Premiere Radio Networks filed by Abdul Alharbi, who was burned by the blast and was questioned by federal authorities during his five-day stay in a hospital. Beck identified Alharbi as being involved in the attack on his radio program on TheBlaze network, as did Fox News and the New York Post. Even after then-Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano cleared the 20-year-old student s name while testifying to Congress eight days after the bombing, Beck continued on air to implicate Alharbi, describing him as the money man and the worst of the worst.

In his lawsuit, Alharbi said he needed the identities of Beck s confidential sources to refute the radio host s argument that the allegations were true. A member of Beck s staff has told the court the information came from veteran terrorism investigators with the Homeland Security department. U.S. District Judge Patti Saris in Boston ordered Beck to provide the names of two — and
possibly another — of the sources to Alharbi under seal. The judge agreed with Alharbi that the only way to verify or confirm what the confidential sources told the defendants would be to speak with the sources themselves. She also ruled that Alharbi had provided enough evidence to back up his request to seek compensatory damages, although she ruled out punitive damages.

Michael Grygiel, a lawyer for Beck, didn t respond after regular business hours to a message seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is Alharbi v. TheBlaze Inc., 1:14-cv-11550, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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