Glenn Beck must reveal Boston Marathon bombing sources

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Judge Orders Beck To Identify Boston Marathon Sources

Aug 10 (Reuters) - The conservative commentator Glenn Beck must reveal the names of confidential sources he used in reports alleging that a Saudi Arabian student injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing was "the money man" who funded the attack, a federal judge ruled.

In her decision on Tuesday, Chief Judge Patti Saris of the U.S. District Court in Boston also rejected Beck's latest effort to dismiss Abdulrahman Alharbi's defamation case against him and TheBlaze network, which broadcasts his radio show.

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Michael Grygiel, a lawyer for Beck, did not immediately respond on Wednesday to requests for comment. Peter Haley, a lawyer for Alharbi, declined to comment.

Beck repeatedly linked Alharbi to the April 15, 2013 bombing on his radio show, including that he had been "tagged" as a "proven terrorist," and continued doing so after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano cleared the student in congressional testimony.

See Glenn Beck throughout his career:

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Glenn Beck speaks at a rally for Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in Tulsa, Okla., Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Radio and television personality Glenn Beck speaks to a gathering at FreePAC Kentucky, Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
PROVO, UT - MARCH 19: Conservative radio talk show host Glenn Beck speaks at a rally for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at Provo High School on March 19, 2016 in Provo, Utah. Utah voters go to the polls Tuesday, March 22 for the state's caucus. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
Glenn Beck announces his endorsement of US Senator and Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz during a campaign event in Waterloo, Iowa, January 23, 2016, ahead of the Iowa Caucus. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - SEPTEMBER 9: TV and Right Wing personality Glenn Beck waits to go on stage to speak at a rally held by the Tea Party at the United States Capitol to speak out against President Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran in Washington, USA on September 9, 2015. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck attends a Tea Party Patriots rally on the west front of the Capitol to protest the IRS's targeting of conservative political groups. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13: Glenn Beck speaks during the Dish Network War Of The Words at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 13, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images for Dish Network)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Glenn Beck attends Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards on April 26, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - AUGUST 24: (ISRAEL OUT) U.S. conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck hosts a rally near the Western Wall, on August 24, 2011 in Jerusalem's Old City, Israel. The event, under the slogan 'Restoring Courage', was attended by hundreds of his evangelical Christian supporters, whilst many who oppose his right-wing views protested outside. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 11, 2011 file photo, radio talk show host Glenn Beck speaks in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem. For a second straight day, Beck on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 used his show to complain that an American Airlines flight attendant treated him rudely. Beck claims it was punishment for his conservative views. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
Glenn Beck, center, holds hands with faith leaders at the "Restoring Honor" rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Glenn Beck arrives at the 45th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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Saris said Alharbi, 23, of Revere, Massachusetts, may learn the names of two Department of Homeland Security officials who allegedly provided information to officials at TheBlaze, to help refute Beck's claims and show his reporting was inadequate.

She said Alharbi may also be entitled to the name of a federal anti-terrorism agent who also spoke with TheBlaze, if that agent said Alharbi funded the bombing.

"The only way to verify or confirm what the confidential sources told the defendants would be to speak with the sources themselves," Saris wrote in a 61-page decision. Beck never spoke with the sources, she added.

Most U.S. states have shield laws protecting journalists from revealing confidential sources, but Massachusetts does not.

In letting the defamation case continue, Saris said Alharbi can try to show that the defendants were negligent, and may seek damages for emotional distress and harm to his reputation.

She said Alharbi cannot seek punitive damages because Massachusetts law does not permit them in defamation cases.

Alharbi had been a spectator near the marathon's finish line when two homemade pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd, killing three people and injuring more than 260.

The ethnic Chechen brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were implicated in the bombing. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in June 2015. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by police a few days after the bombing.

The case is Alharbi v. TheBlaze Inc et al, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No. 14-11550.

Look back at the scene of the Boston Marathon bombing:

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Boston Marathon bombing
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BOSTON - APRIL 15: Police officers with their guns drawn hear the second explosion down the street. The first explosion knocked down 78-year-old US marathon runner Bill Iffrig at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two explosions went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: (EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IMAGE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT) Destruction and injured people at the site of the one of the explosions that went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. Barricades hindered the EMS from getting to the injured. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FILE - This Monday, April 15, 2013 photo provided by Bob Leonard shows Tamerlan Tsarnaev, third from left, who was dubbed Suspect No. 1 and second from left, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, who was dubbed Suspect No. 2 in the Boston Marathon bombings by law enforcement. This image was taken approximately 10-20 minutes before the blast. (AP Photo/Bob Leonard)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: A second explosion goes off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
FILE - In this April 15, 2013, file photo, Emergency Medical Services EMT Paul Mitchell, left, Carlos Arredondo, center, and Devin Wang, rear, push Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair after he was injured in one of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston. Opening statements are scheduled Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in the federal death penalty trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for allegedly conspiring with his brother to place twin bombs near the finish line of the race, killing three and injuring 260 people. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A man is loaded into an ambulance after he was injured by one of two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon near Copley Square on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Runner John Ounao crying when he finds friends after several explosions rocked the finish of the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 15, 2013. At least two people were killed and 22 wounded when two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, sparking scenes of panic, police said. The streets were littered with debris and blood and paramedics raced off with stretchers as police locked down the area, witness said. TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Two officials run away from the first explosion, right, on Boylston Street at the 177th Boston Marathon, April 15, 2013. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
First responders load injured people into an ambulance where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. Photographer: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Runners and spectators flee from the scene where two explosions occurred along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. Two powerful explosions rocked the finish line area of the Boston Marathon near Copley Square and police said many people were injured. Photographer: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner reacts near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: Boston Police struggle to remove barricades to reach victims of the first explosion that went off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon,. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: A person who was injured in the first explosion is wheeled across the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 15: (EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS IMAGE CONTAINS GRAPHIC CONTENT) A person who was injured in an explosion near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon is taken away from the scene on a stretcher. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A runner sits near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Monday, April 15, 2013 file, an unidentified Boston Marathon runner cries as she leaves the course near Copley Square in Boston after two explosions at the finish line. The Boston Marathon bombing has been selected the sports story of the year in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)
FILE - In this image from video provided by WBZ TV, a bomb explodes near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/WBZTV) MANDATORY CREDIT
FILE - This photo provided by Bruce Mendelsohn shows one of the sites of two bombs detonated during the 2013 Boston Marathon in Boston on Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Bruce Mendelsohn) MANDATORY CREDIT: BRUCE MENDELSOHN
Medical workers aid injured people at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following an explosion Monday, April 15, 2013 in Boston. Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon on Monday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 22 others and sending authorities rushing to aid wounded spectators. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Trash is strewn on the street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon where several explosions rocked the event April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. At least two people were killed and 22 wounded when two explosions struck near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, sparking scenes of panic, police said. The streets were littered with debris and blood and paramedics raced off with stretchers as police locked down the area, witness said. TV footage showed an explosion sending up a white plume of smoke along the sidelines of the race. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 15: A swat team arrives at the corner of Stuart Street and Dartmouth Street after two explosive devices detonated at the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
BOSTON - APRIL 16: Newspapers are on sale at a stand on Newbury Street on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Security is especially tight in the city of Boston after two explosions went off near the finish of the Marathon, killing three people and injuring at least 141 others. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
A mourner places a note with flowers at a police barricade near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding more than 170, were fashioned out of pressure cookers and packed with metal shards, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, a person briefed on the investigation said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
This Friday, April 19, 2013 image made available by the Massachusetts State Police shows a police vehicle probing the boat where 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was hiding in Watertown, Mass. He was pulled, wounded and bloody, from the boat parked in the backyard of a home in the Greater Boston area. (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police)
(AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police)
In this Friday, April 19, 2013 file photo provided by the Massachusetts State Police, 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev leans over in a boat at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Mass. Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty in the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with police. The Boston Marathon bombing has been selected the sports story of the year in an annual vote conducted by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy, File)
This Friday, April 19, 2013 image made available by the Massachusetts State Police shows 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, hiding inside a boat during a search for him in Watertown, Mass. He was pulled, wounded and bloody, from the boat parked in the backyard of a home in the Greater Boston area. Two U.S. officials say the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard. Authorities originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him. (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police)
This April 19, 2013, Massachusetts State Police photo, shows the boat where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hides in Watertown, Mass. Tsarnaev, 19, was captured later that night. Sean Murphy, photographer of this image, said it was made from the point-of-view where a law enforcement sniper took a position before the capture of Tsarnaev at the boat (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy)
In this Friday, April 19, 2013 Massachusetts State Police photo, tactical emergency medical technicians tend to Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, partially obscured center, at the time of his capture by law enforcement authorities in Watertown, Mass. Photos of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect's surrender have been posted on the Boston Magazine website. The additional images, made public Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013 were among those released to the magazine last month by a state police photographer. (AP Photo/Massachusetts State Police, Sean Murphy)
This still frame from video shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev visible through an ambulance after he was captured in Watertown, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. A 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings was taken into custody Friday evening after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralyzed and his older brother and accomplice dead. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)
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Race fans with a "Boston Strong" flag cheer for competitors near the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon, Monday, April 21, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
A fan wears a Boston Bruins jersey bearing the Boston area code and "Boston Strong," remembering the city's solidarity after the Boston Marathon bombing in April, before Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Finals between the Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks, Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 02: Jonny Gomes #5 of the Boston Red Sox lays the World Series trophy and the 'Boston Strong 617' jersey onto the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Boylston Street during the World Series victory parade on November 2, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
A "B Strong" logo adorns the grass in centerfield at Fenway Park while the Boston Red Sox work out on Wednesday, Oct., 2, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox will pay tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings when the AL division series opens Friday. The logo matches the patch the team has worn since the April 15 explosions. (AP Photo/Jimmy Golen)
BOSTON - MARCH 15: A bagpiper wears a Boston Strong jersey during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in the South Boston neighborhood on March 15, 2015. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
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