New York Post cover draws public ire, response from Feds

The New York Post cover on Thursday, April 18, 2013.
The New York Post cover on Thursday, April 18, 2013.

The New York Post’s cover Thursday morning read “BAG MEN” and showed a photo of two dark-skinned young men in a crowd.

The inside story reported an email being circulated internally by law enforcement officials “of two men chatting near the packed finish line.” Recipients were advised to pass it around to their “fellow agents elsewhere.”

According to the Post’s sources, authorities were also interested in two men seen on surveillance video. These authorities reportedly knew the names of the two men in the surveillance video, “but do not have enough evidence to make an arrest.”

“It was not immediately clear if the men in the law-enforcement photos are the same men in the surveillance videos,” the Post allowed.

In the hours after the paper hit newsstands everywhere Thursday morning, the two young men on the cover had been identified — through the work of internet sleuths on message board websites like Reddit — as local high-school students. The one whose face is most visible is a soccer player and track athlete named Salah Barhoun.

The Department of Justice had already released a statement: “Any images not released via FBI official channels should not be considered credible.”

Post editor Col Allan did not apologize.

“We stand by our story,” he said. “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.”

Indeed, what the Post had said was that “cops are seeking these two men who were spotted near the site of the Boston blasts.”

Barhoun told the Daily News that he and his friend are “just athletes.”

“We love running and we love to watch running,” he said.

Gawker noted that he had posted a couple of enthusiastic photos to his Facebook page of himself at the marathon.

In reference to the Post headline, Barhoun pointed out, “A lot of people have bags, not just me. I thought, ‘why me?’”

His bag contained gym clothes and sneakers, he said. He and his friend had left the race two hours before the explosion.

“Last night I couldn’t sleep,” Barhoun said. “Just thinking about the consequences. What are people going to say, and what the result is going to be.”

Police reportedly advised the 17-year-old to delete his Facebook account.

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.