Two Massachusetts residents are suing The New York Post for libel after their photo hit the paper's front page with the headline "Bag Men," under which was written: "Feds seek these two pictured at Boston marathon," according to the magazine New York.
Salaheddin Barhoum, 16, and Yassine Zaimi, 24, filed suit against the Post on charges of libel, invasion of privacy, and causing emotional distress by inviting "scorn, hatred, ridicule, or contempt," reported the Associated Press, citing case materials.
"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," the complaint reads, according to New York magazine.
The coverage in question was published three days after bombs went off during the race on April 15, killing several people, injuring hundreds more, and shocking the nation.
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The two Moroccan-born young men are both runners who watched but did not participate in the marathon, said New York magazine.
A Post spokesperson contacted by AP deferred to the paper editor's comments in defense of the cover story, which said the two men were not described as suspects in the case.
According to New York magazine, this will make things difficult for plaintiffs, observing: "The Post, well practiced in strongly suggesting things without coming right out and saying them, was deliberate in its wording, which could make the case hard to win."
The lawsuit claims the Post's portrayal made it seem like Barhoum and Zaimi were wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), reported The Boston Globe. The agency did release photos of two suspects in the aftermath of the April attacks, but those images were unrelated to the Post's cover photo.
The case was filed at the Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday.
Barhoum attends Revere High School and Zaimi is a part-time collage student with a full-time job in the city of Malden, said the Globe.