U.S. News

Police say Muslim woman made up story about attack on New York City subway

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A woman has been arrested and charged with filing a false report after telling police that three white men yelling President-elect Donald Trump’s name had attacked her on a New York City subway for wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, police said.

Yasmin Seweid, 18, was also charged with obstructing governmental administration, a police spokesman said on Thursday. She was released without bail after a brief court appearance in Manhattan, local media reported.

A lawyer for Seweid could not be reached immediately for comment.

The false report comes as U.S. civil rights advocates have voiced alarm over a rise in attacks on Muslims and other minorities since Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The president-elect has said he supports “extreme vetting” of Muslims entering the United States as a national security measure and had called for a ban on Muslim immigrants.

An off-duty New York City policewoman also wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf said this month that a man lunged at her son and accused her of having ties to the Islamic State militant group, prompting city officials to vow swift prosecution of hate crimes.

Seweid had told police and local media she was on her way home from an event at Baruch College in Manhattan on Dec. 1 when three drunken white men taunted her and one tried to rip off her hijab.

Baruch, where Seweid is a student, said on Thursday it would review her status there.

Other riders on the subway train looked away during the attack and refused to help her, Seweid had said.

Police were unable to confirm her story and she recanted this week, saying she made it up because she was having problems with her family, according to the news website DNAinfo, which reported on Wednesday she was being charged.

Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe