CBS: FBI, BPD "very interested" in Saudi national

The “Saudi national” thread continues to expand past the New York Post/Fox News report yesterday. Earlier on CBS, former FBI assistant director John Miller tells Charlie Rose that his sources say that the  man in the hospital has really piqued the interest of investigators now:

Authorities say there is no clear suspect, but John Miller, a CBS News special correspondent and a former assistant director at the FBI, said Tuesday morning the latest focus continues to be “that apartment in Revere, on the person of interest that they’ve been interviewing since the bombing.”

Miller explained that the Revere search warrant is part of the same probe as the questioning of a Saudi national who was hospitalized after the attack.

“All of that is the same,” Miller said. “The Saudi national is … here on a student visa. He was at the scene along with many other people when the blast happened. As everybody is standing in shock, three Boston PD detectives see this guy moving quickly out of the crowd. As they’re watching him, he seems to be moving very deliberately away — which could be a very natural thing after a bombing — they stop him because he’s covered with blood … they think he may be injured…they engage him, they start asking questions … there are things about his responses that made them uncomfortable, so they arranged to get him to the hospital.”

“They stayed with him. The FBI has come along, they’re talking to him. So he’s somebody that they’re really interested in.”

Just to remind people, the FBI was “really interested in” Richard Jewell after the Atlanta Olympics bombing, too.  That turned out to be a fiasco for the FBI, as Jewell was actually a hero responding to the bombing, which was conducted by Eric Rudolph.  “Interested” and “really interested” probably don’t mean much unless investigators take him into custody.  But the pattern of his burns — mainly on his hands, Miller says — has investigators wondering what he was doing at the time of the blast.

The device type doesn’t give much indication as to the identity of the bomber, either:

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Miller addressed speculation by lawmakers that it could be tied to al Qaeda or other foreign terror groups.

Miller acknowledged that it could be the work of al Qaeda, explaining that in the online al Qaeda magazine, Inspire, “they actually have instructions for these bombs, you see these simple bombs,” but added that “we’ve seen these kinds of devices in domestic terror.”

The CBS report at least clarifies that (a) the NY Post/Fox report was correct about the “person of interest,” and (b) the Saudi national and the man in the hospital are the same person, in case that was still unclear.

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