Australian Uber Driver Suspended for Telling Passengers of Support for Islamic State, Bomb Plot

A Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric automobile, operated Uber Technologies Inc., drives through traffic, in Madrid, Spain, on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies has launched its first electric car taxi service in Madrid, operating a fleet of Tesla Model S electric vehicles. Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via …
Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Uber ride-sharing company has suspended a driver in Australia who claimed ties to the Islamic State and told a passenger he was planning to detonate bombs at a shopping mall and Parliament House.

The Uber driver made these statements to a terrified female passenger picked up in Canberra on Sunday. She responded by telling him to stop at a gas station so she could use the restroom, then she called the police.

The passenger said the driver told her he was from Pakistan and asked if she had ever “eaten human flesh.” He also told her he was planning to take her to a town some 60 miles away from the home she was trying to reach.

The police did not actually arrest the driver when they appeared on the scene — they checked his car, ran background checks, and found nothing suspicious. They did, however, give the passenger a ride home. According to one report, the driver told police he was only “joking” to make his passenger nervous so she would cancel her request for a drive because he didn’t want the fare.

“It was a terrifying experience. I’m so stressed I can’t even explain how I feel. I want Uber to be doing a lot more screening of the people that they’re bringing on because apparently, it’s not doing enough,” the woman said.