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Ex-Federal Official Arrested For Hate Crime Food Vendor Rant

A former U.S. government official was arrested after being captured on video spewing Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian language at a street food vendor in Manhattan on multiple occasions, Axios reports. The charges against Stuart Seldowitz include "hate crime/stalking," second-degree aggravated harassment and additional stalking charges, said a police spokesperson. Seldowitz worked for the National Security Council under the Obama administration after a State Department career that spanned five presidencies. Seldowitz confirmed to CNN he was in the videos and expressed regret about things he said to the vendor, but denied being Islamophobic.


Seldowitz appeared in multiple videos that appeared to be taken on different days. In one video posted to X, Seldowitz repeatedly calls the vendor "ignorant" and makes derogatory comments about the Prophet Muhammad. In other video, Seldowitz threatens to "put big signs here saying this guy believes in Hamas" and called the vendor "a terrorist." "If we killed 4,000 Palestinian children, you know what? It wasn't enough," Seldowitz added. "Why should I go? It's a free country," Seldowitz said in a third video. The vendor can be repeatedly heard asking Seldowitz to leave. Mohamed Attia of the Street Vendor Project advocacy group posted on X that Seldowitz had been harassing the vendor for two weeks.

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