Yasmin Seweid, the Muslim student arrested after falsely claiming that she was attacked by three Trump supporters on a New York City subway train, confessed to investigators that she was, in fact, just out drinking with friends that evening. She reportedly fabricated the story to avoid reprisals from her strictly religious father.
The 18-year-old Seweid became the center of a media frenzy after her testimony of being viciously attacked by hateful Trump supporters in the wake of the election made international headlines. She claimed—in what we now know to be a false report—that three drunk men called her a “terrorist” and chanted “Trump, Trump, Trump” while trying to pull off her hijab.
“Get the hell out of the country!” she told police they shouted at her.
A source told DNAinfo that prosecutors gave the teenager numerous opportunities to come clean earlier in the process, but that she firmly stuck to her version of events.
Yet, when police officers tried to verify her story, they could not find any witnesses or surveillance footage that would corroborate it.
BREAKING: Yasmin Seweid, Muslim woman called terrorist, attacked on train last week, reported missing by Nassau County Police pic.twitter.com/B2ESiyiRlK
— Myles Miller (@MylesMill) December 10, 2016
Seweid finally recanted her story on Tuesday, saying she made up this phony tale because she had been having problems with her strict Egyptian family. Her father apparently disapproved of her “westernized” behavior, an anonymous source told the New York Post.
Those problems were allegedly made worse after her father realized that Seweid had been dating a Catholic, a source told the Post.
Her report about being attacked on the train was widely picked by the media nationally. Seweid subsequently disappeared for a week, and some of those same outlets suggested that Trump supporters were somehow responsible for her disappearance as well. The police launched an extensive search for her.
When she finally re-emerged, it turned out she had been hiding away with her sister on Long Island. Her long black hair and hijab, both prominent in the photos taken on the day she alleged the attack happened, were now gone. Instead, her head was shaved and she had no hijab.
Seweid’s father, however, said he did not know why his daughter would have made up the attack. “You try to raise your children as best you can,” he told DNAinfo. “She’s a bright, good girl. She’s young and maybe she was foolish here.”
“Young kids,” he added, “you don’t understand their mentality.”
The teenager has been charged with obstructing governmental administration and filing a false report, both misdemeanor charges. She faces up to a year in jail.