2 men sue New York Post for 'Bag Men' Marathon photograph

June 6, 2013 at 2:09 PM
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BOSTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Two Moroccan immigrants have sued the New York Post for running a front page photo of them, with the caption, "Bag Men," after the Boston Marathon bombing.

Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi say they were at the marathon finish line but left 2 hours before two bombs in backpacks exploded April 15, killing three people and injured 270. They were not identified by name in the newspaper but, Barhoum, a 16-year-old high school student from Revere, just outside Boston, and Zaimi, a part-time college student, said they were widely recognized by friends and acquaintances.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Boston seeks damages for defamation, The Boston Globe reported.

"The front page would lead a reasonable reader to believe that plaintiffs had bombs in their bags, that they were involved in causing the Boston Marathon bombing," their complaint said.

Barhoum and Zaimi said police interviewed them a day before the Post story ran. They said they went voluntarily to investigators after being told their photograph was circulating on the Internet. They were told they were not suspects.

The Post story said police were looking for them.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old college student from the Caucasus region in Russia is charged with the bombings, while his 26-year-old brother was killed during a manhunt.

After the bombings, some online sites encouraged amateur detectives to examine available photos and video footage. A number of people were falsely identified as potential suspects.

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