Fans of the boy band turned on Maher after he joked abut Malik's role in the 2013 bombing during his Friday night (03Apr15) show Real Time.

Mocking Malik's decision to leave the band, he quipped, "I think after everything we've been through, I at least deserve the common respect of being told face-to-face. Just tell me two things, Zayn: Which one in the band were you... and where were you during the Boston Marathon?"

A photo of Malik was posted onscreen alongside one of Tsarnaev.

One Direction fans, still recovering from Malik's shock decision to quit the group, flocked to social media sites to comment on Maher's insensitive remarks.

Those leaving comments under the YouTube video of the TV segment insisted the joke was "disgusting," "disrespectful" and "sick".

But it was timely - closing arguments in Tsarnaev's trial began on Monday (06Apr15). He faces 30 counts for the attacks that left three dead and over 260 injured.