Teen may sue Fairfax Media over terror photo bungle

A 19-year-old man wrongly identified by Fairfax Media as terrorism suspect Numan Haider says he may sue. (File: AAP/Joel Carrett)

A 19-year-old man wrongly identified by Fairfax Media as terrorism suspect Numan Haider says he may sue.

A 19-year-old man wrongly identified by Fairfax Media as terrorism suspect Numan Haider says he may sue.

Abu Bakar Alam has told Fairfax Media he was "gutted" by his ordeal.

"This is going to take a while, but we're going to sit down as a family and work out what's going to be the best for us."

Mr Alam said he was considering taking legal action against the newspaper group.

Speaking to SBS Radio's Pashto program, the Year 12 student said he was scared to leave the house after being incorrectly identified.

“I’m really scared,” he said.

“I can’t go anywhere. I haven’t been out all day. I can’t do work, I’ve cancelled my shift. I don’t know when I’ll be back at school and work.

“I’ve had such a good name as a student, as a worker… It’s a terrible thing to happen.”

Listen: Abubakar Alam speaks with SBS Radio's Pashto program.

Mr Alam said he didn’t believe the news when friends informed him of the error, but his disbelief soon turned to anger.

“I was really shocked,” he said.

“I told my dad and my whole family was really angry, upset for accusing my family. For the bad image which we’ve never had.”

Mr Alam’s grandfather had moved to Australia from Afghanistan, but returned to help coordinate efforts against the Taliban.

He was later killed by a suicide bomber in 2006.

Mr Alam said incidents such as this were what his family had moved to Australia to avoid.

“My granddad, he came from Afghanistan to live a peaceful life,” he said.

“… We came here to have a better life, better future and not be known as terrorists.”

Fairfax Media has apologised to Mr Alam unreservedly for identifying him as a terrorist and clarified that he has no connection to terrorist organisations.

"The young man has no connection whatsoever with any extremist or terrorist group and we deeply regret any such inference arising from the publication of the photograph. The picture has been withdrawn from circulation."

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