After the New York Post came under scrutiny for publishing the pictures of two young men who attended the Boston Marathon on Monday, it seems it could have another headache. ABC News has now tracked down Salah Barhoun, 17, who is one of the youths shown in the pictures and who says he has nothing to do with the bombings. But in an interesting twist, ABC does say that Barhoun's picture was distributed at some point by law enforcement.
The teenager told ABC that he was shocked when he saw his likeness showing up on social media, television and print, so he went to the police to clear his name on Wednesday. Barhoun also told the outlet that he had simply gone to watch the race like multitudes of spectators that day; the man with him in pictures is purportedly his friend.
Photo Credit: NY Post
It is true, according to ABC's sources, though, that authorities did attempt to learn more about the young man and that they initially distributed his image in an effort to obtain information.
For the purposes of the ABC interview, Barhoun was located using social media and a reporter then spoke with him from his home.
"It's the worst feeling that I can possibly feel… I'm only 17," he told ABC of seeing the Post's cover story.
His younger brother, who apparently declined to share his name, said that the boys' mother was "sick and upset" that her son was being connected to the terror attack.
"It made her think he had done something wrong," the brother said. "My brother is not the bomber."
Business Insider has a summary of the how debate over the Post's cover was handled by authorities and other media outlets earlier today:
The New York Post's cover was widely discredited earlier today after CBS correspondent John Miller said that the two men pictured were not being sought by the FBI. A subreddit devoted to catching the Boston marathon bombers is deleting any posts that use the picture of Barhoun.
The New York Post is now reporting (in an article timestamped 1.43pm EST) that Barhoun and his friend have been cleared by investigators. According to Politico, New York Post editor Col Aitkin sent out an email earlier today saying they "stand by" the story and that it did not identify them as suspects.
The Post does, indeed, claim in its latest piece that both of the individuals shown previously have no information and didn't play a role in the bombing, however neither is mentioned by name.
As TheBlaze previously noted, neither the Post, nor the email apparently sent by authorities about the men, called them "suspects" in the first place.