The teenage boy authorities once investigated as possibly being connected to the Boston Marathon bombing told ABC News today he was shocked to see his face pop up on television and all over social media.
Salah Barhoun, 17, said he went to the police yesterday to clear his name after he found himself tagged in pictures online. He had just gone to watch the race, he said, but soon after the explosions, he was singled out by internet sleuths as looking suspicious. Federal authorities passed around images of Barhoun, attempting to learn more information about him, sources told ABC News.
Today The New York Post ran a story featuring a picture of Barhoun and another man circled in red, but said it was unclear if they were the same as two potential suspects spotted by law enforcement Wednesday.
When he saw the front page story, with the headline “Bag Men,” Barhoun said, “It’s the worst feeling that I can possibly feel… I’m only 17.”
ABC News producers found Barhoun through social media and spoke to him today at his home. He said he had actually wanted to run the race and when he couldn’t, decided to watch. Barhoun’s younger brother, who declined to be identified, said that it made his mother “sick and upset” that her son had been connected to the tragedy.
“It made her think he had done something wrong,” the younger brother said. “My brother is not the bomber.” Federal law enforcement sources told ABC News they are no longer seeking information about Barhoun or the other man in the photo published in the Post.