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Thursday, April 18, 2013
WND's Klein Courts Libel Suit By Playing Guilt-By-Association With Cleared Boston Bombing Suspect
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently, WorldNetDaily is feeling the need to have a libel lawsuit filed against it.

Aaron Klein declares in an April 17 WND article: "The Saudi national questioned by police in the investigation into the Boston Marathon attack shares the same last name as a major Saudi clan that includes scores of al-Qaida operatives."

No, really, that's all Klein has --  the guy shares a last name with "al-Qaida operatives." Not that the guy is an Al Qaeda operative, not that his family members are Al Qaeda operatives -- only that he shares a last name with them.

It's not until the ninth paragraph that Klein gets around to admitting that "it is not clear whether the Alharbi questioned as part of the marathon probe is a member of the well-known Saudi clan."

But the fact that Klein chose to bury his dislaimer so far down in his story while playing up his guilt-by-name-association of someone who is not currently considered a suspect in the bombing suggests that this Saudi national, Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi, arguably has a basis for a libel lawsuit against Klein and WND.

We don't know whether or not Alharbi is a member of the clan Klein alleges him to be -- and, more importantly, neither does Klein.  He has written a story with the full knowledge that he can't prove what he's claiming, and all the hedging and buried disclaimers in the world don't change the fact that he is strongly arguing that Alharbi is a terrorist solely on the basis of his sharing the last name of someone accused of terrorism.

Further, it appears Klein is basing his article on something published by Walid Shoebat, who even more explicitly ties Alharbi to "Al-Qaeda terrorists" based solely on his last name. Shoebat's not exactly known for his accuracy, and he's been credibly accused of lying about his own past as a self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist-turned-Christian.

If none of this turns out to be true -- which, given WND's track record in such matters, is entirely possible, if not likely -- Alharbi should get his libel suit against Klein and WND (and Shoebat) ready, because Klein's article is the epitome of irresponsible, malicious journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT

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