(NEW YORK) — Two people called “BAG MEN” by the New York Post following the April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon are hoping to walk away with bags of money from the News Corp. tabloid.
Salaheddin Barhoum, 16, and Yassine Zaimi, 24, say the Post strongly implied they were suspects in the terrorist attacks that left three people dead and more than 260 people wounded when explosives were detonated near the finish line of the race.
The lawsuit against the Post, which has not offered a retraction since the April 18 publication of the front page photo of Barhoum and Zaimi, alleges the tabloid “stated or implied that the plaintiffs were the perpetrators of the bombing; that they were suspects in the bombing; that they were being sought by law enforcement; and that photographs of them were being circulated” by authorities who eventually caught up with the real suspects.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who say they attend the Boston Marathon each year, contend, “None of these statements were true.”
Barhoum and Zaimi maintain they had left the area two hours after the powerful bomb blasts occurred.
The plaintiffs “were put in fear for their lives” following the publication of the photo, the complaint says. Both are asking for unspecified money damages as compensation.
The Post would not comment on the lawsuit and referred back to editor-in-chief Col Allan’s statement from April 18 that “We did not identify them as suspects.”
According to the Post, there was no “no direct evidence linking them to the crime, but authorities want to identify them.”
“BAG MEN” refers to the backpacks that were worn to hide the pressure cooker-type bombs that police said were detonated near the marathon’s finish line.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Todd Leopold, CNN Newswire
Chris Isidore, CNN Newswire