No. That would be a defense, more or less, if someone else submitted it but the original work is copyright, and to do what you describe is both plagiarism (which this isn't) and theft.
They tried to avoid that by giving credit. The problem is, they didn't have permission. My suspicion is they expected to be able to say, "You got published, aren't you happy," if someone complained.
That the editor didn't know how to pull off a piece of flim-flam on that front (as a photographer I see this all the time.... "Can we use your work on our flyer/magazine cover/article? Just think of all the exposure you'll get."
To which I say, "exposure" doesn't pay the bills, and previously used work is differently salable. Pay me, and you can use it.
The appalling part is the ones who say, "We pay professionals. Since we found it on the web/flickr, ergo you aren't a professional, and we won't pay you."
To them I say, "if you use it you will pay me first,, or pay my lawyer later."