Injured Saudi is a witness, not a suspect, in Boston bombing

April 16, 2013

U.S. law enforcement officials said Tuesday that a Saudi national injured in the Boston Marathon bombing is regarded as a witness, not a suspect.

The Saudi, who is recuperating at a Boston hospital, is in his 20s and is in the United States on a Saudi scholarship to study at a university in the Boston area.

The federal officials’ explanation echoed comments by a Saudi official at the country’s embassy in Washington. The embassy official said that a Saudi national has been questioned as a witness but is not regarded as a suspect. The Saudi official cited information provided to the embassy by U.S. law enforcement officials.

“We’re not aware of any Saudi suspect or Saudi person of interest,” said the Saudi official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary nature of the information.

He declined to identify the young man, but said he sustained serious burn injuries. The official said the victim is cooperating with U.S. investigators and granted permission for his Boston area apartment to be searched.

“He volunteered to have it searched,” the Saudi official said. “He is fully cooperating with authorities.”

He is one of two Saudi citizens who were injured in the attacks, officials said. The other is a female student who attended the race with her son and husband, and who sustained shrapnel injuries to her legs.

They are among thousands of Saudi nationals who attend college in the United States. The Saudi consulate in New York has dispatched a representative to Boston to meet with the hospitalized Saudi.

Greg Miller covers the intelligence beat for The Washington Post.
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