Teen stunned at portrayal as bombing suspect
REVERE, Mass. (AP) — A teenager said he is scared to go outside after he was portrayed on the Internet and on the front page of the New York Post as connected to the Boston Marathon bombings.
Photos of Salah Eddin Barhoum, 17, and friend Yassine Zaime were posted on websites whose users have been scouring marathon finish line photos for suspects. The two were also on the Post’s front today with the headline: “Bag men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon.”
The Post reported later today that the men weren’t considered suspects, and the FBI has since identified two other men as suspects in the bombings Monday that killed three and injured more than 180.
But Barhoum, a track runner at Revere High School, said he is convinced some will blame him for the bombings, no matter what.
He was so fearful on Thursday that he ran back to the high school after a track meet when he saw a man in a car staring at him, talking into a phone, he said.
Barhoum added he received more than 200 messages online Wednesday, with one commenter from Oregon asking: “How could you do that? Did you even think about the consequences?”
Barhoum said he won’t feel safe until the actual bombers are caught.
“I’m going to be scared going to school,” Barhoum said. “Workwise, my family, everything is going to be scary.”
Attempts to reach Zaime were not immediately successful.
Barhoum’s father, El Houssein Barhoum, who moved his family from Morocco five years ago, said he is worried his son will be shot and also fears for his wife and two young daughters. He said he can’t go to his job as a baker in Boston.