2 Mass. residents sue New York Post over Boston Marathon bombings coverage

Salaheddin Barhoum sits in his apartment in Revere, Mass., April 18, 2013, with one of the trophies he won in an athletic competition, and the bag he was carrying near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
AP Photo/Rodrique Ngowi

BOSTON Two Massachusetts residents have sued the New York Post, accusing the newspaper of falsely portraying them as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in Boston said photographs and articles published three days after the bombings made it appear the FBI was pursuing 16-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum and 24-year-old Yassine Zaimi.

The pair was featured on the front page under the headline "Bag Men."

The suit accuses the newspaper of libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress and privacy invasion. It alleges the newspaper subjected them to "scorn, hatred, ridicule, or contempt."

The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified monetary damages.

The New York Post's editor and a newspaper spokeswoman couldn't be immediately reached Thursday.

In a statement released in April, New York Post editor Col Allan said, "We stand by our story. The image was emailed to law enforcement agencies yesterday afternoon seeking information about these men, as our story reported. We did not identify them as suspects."

In April, Barhoum said there were only two reasons he's been labeled a suspect: his bag and his brown skin.

Barhoum said he was at the marathon with Zaime, a friend from the running club, hoping to run a portion of it behind the official field. They took the subway, and Barhoum's bag was for his running gear.