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Glenn Beck conspiracy theory: What's his evidence?

Glenn Beck conspiracy theory: A Saudi national was involved in the Boston Marathon attack, Glenn Beck alleges. US officials reject the notion and dismiss the 'evidence' as so much bureaucratic paperwork.

By Staff Writer / April 24, 2013

Fox News host Glenn Beck speaks in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2010.

Chris Keane/Reuters/File

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Glenn Beck has spent lots of time in recent days alleging that the Boston Marathon bombing was carried out by a conspiracy that revolved around a shadowy Saudi national questioned by police in a Boston hospital in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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OK, is he just winging it here, or does the ex-Fox, now-independent radio and Internet video host have any real evidence for this charge?

He says he does, unsurprisingly. On his show Wednesday morning Mr. Beck produced a document that he claimed is an official US “event report” showing that the Saudi in question is a bad, bad man who was on a no-fly list and already subject to visa revocation.

What he didn’t mention is that Fox News reporter Bret Baier has already looked into this whole alleged Saudi conspiracy, including the document Beck deemed so revealing, and concluded that there was no there there, to paraphrase writer Gertrude Stein’s jibe about Oakland.

It’s “false and misleading” to use the internal document on the Saudi’s immigration status as evidence of the man’s involvement in the bombings, according to US officials quoted by Mr. Baier in a Fox video blog on April 23.

“The FBI says the Saudi [in question] was just a victim of the terrorist attack,” said Baier.

OK, let’s rewind a bit to clarify this, shall we?

In the immediate aftermath of the Boston tragedy, many media outlets reported that law enforcement officials were interrogating an injured Saudi man who had been seen running from the site of the bombs. Authorities that evening searched his residence in suburban Revere.

Officials later reported that this Saudi was a student and an innocent spectator who had been injured by the blasts and was trying to escape along with many other people on the Marathon route.

Although the man’s name has been reported by some media outlets, Decoder won’t be using it, so as to not further publicize the identity of someone police say did nothing wrong.

Since then Glenn Beck has continued to link the Saudi to the bombing and to terrorism in general. He has charged that the man was in the US on a student visa that had expired and that he will be deported by US immigration for security reasons. He has gone so far as to speculate that a Saudi national may have been an Al Qaeda control agent who recruited the Tsarnaev brothers to carry out the Boston attacks.

Then on Wednesday Beck dropped his other shoe, revealing what he said was important new evidence in the case.

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