(Photo: Screencap of New York Post)
A teenager unintentionally linked to the Boston Marathon bombings by the New York Post has said that he is being stalked and fears for his life after his photo was put on the front page.
"Everywhere I go, I just don't want to look at people. Cause when they look at me, they're just gonna be like – oh he just did this." Salah Eddin Barhoum, 17, who was pictured at the marathon with the headline: "Bag men: Feds seek these two pictured at Boston Marathon," told ABC News.
"You got so many people killed – one eight years old, you got so many people injured. Their families are going to feel so horrible about what you did," Barhoum added of the accusations he is receiving. "The only thing they look at is my skin color and since I'm Moroccan I'm kind of dark."
The NY Post has since clarified that they were not accusing the young man of being a suspect, and the FBI later identified two suspects who they believe are connecting to the bombings – one who died in a shootout with police Thursday overnight and one who as of Friday morning being hunted down in Boston.
"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," said New York Post editor Col Allan.
Barhoum says, however, that the initial link alone is going to put him in a lot of trouble. The Revere High School student revealed that when walking home from school on Thursday, he saw a man in a car staring at him and talking into a phone.
"I'm going to be scared going to school," Barhoum said, according to CBS News. "Workwise, my family, everything is going to be scary."
Barhoum's father, El Houssein Barhoum, said that his family came to America five years ago from Morocco, but at the moment he is afraid for their safety and is staying home from work.
"Right now, we are not secure," the father said. "So, the news (media), when they put something, they should be sure about the information."
"It hurts because the person who did it must be happy right now, looking at the people who are getting blamed," Barhoum added, sharing that photos of him on Facebook were being flagged by people who had seen the NY Post photo and connected him to the bombings. "And I'm one of them."