The media were ablaze after a Muslim student in New York City reported being attacked by three Trump supporters on the subway.
The attackers supposedly called 18-year old Yasmin Seweid a terrorist, grabbed her bag, and told her to “take that rag off your head” while trying to rip off her hijab. She also said they were saying “Trump” the whole time.
The story symbolized to many not only an indictment of Trump supporters but of those on the subway who allegedly watched and did nothing.
And things got even more sensational when Seweid went missing just a week later. But only two days after disappearing she came home, and her father told the media she was simply at a relative’s house.
This unexpected disappearance and reappearance is now raising questions from some about the initial hate crime.
Recently Seweid deleted her Facebook account, along with the initial post detailing the hate crime, although her Twitter and YouTube accounts remain up.
“My gut tells me it didn’t happen the way she said it happened,” the source told The News. “The longer we can’t find witnesses… the more we question her story.”
Perhaps media outlets reporting this as a factual incident without following up should have, you know, done more to confirm it.
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) December 13, 2016
@NYDailyNews She created a hoax,went hiding when found out.Mystery solved
— gem (@precession_) December 11, 2016
Certain details of Seweid’s account are also raising questions, and online comment sections on Reddit and various articles about the incident are filled with people calling the hate crime a hoax.
For instance, the fact that only one person matching the description of her attackers was found on MTA security tapes.
Her description of the attackers included one man who was 5-foot-10, 170 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes, clean shaven and wearing a black jacket. This guy could be seen on security tape following her off the train.
The other alleged attackers were a 5-foot-10, 170 pounds man with straight brown hair wearing a navy hoodie and Timberland boots and a blond, clean-shaven guy who is 5-foot-9, 170 pounds. Both these two were unable to be found on subway security footage.
Also some are speculating why there is no police sketch of the attackers or footage from inside the subway cars. No witnesses have come forward to say they saw the alleged incident.
Many media outlets wrote strongly worded pieces on the initial hate crime and Seweid’s disappearance, yet few beside NY Daily News have followed up. With a rash of hate crimes following the election, the story is incredibly relevant and high interest. But with no witnesses or video of suspects, internet speculation will no doubt only grow.