(Reuters) - Conservative activist Laura Loomer was banned from the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft on Wednesday after unleashing an anti-Muslim tweetstorm in the wake of the New York City attack on Tuesday that killed eight people, the companies said.
Loomer released numerous posts on Twitter about Muslims on Tuesday and Wednesday, accusing passersby in hijabs of enjoying the attack in New York and complaining that taxi and ride-sharing companies hired extremists.
“Someone needs to create a non-Islamic form of @uber or @lyft because I never want to support another Islamic immigrant driver,” tweeted Loomer, who briefly worked for the right-wing news site Rebel Media.
“I‘m late to the NYPD press conference because I couldn’t find a non Muslim cab or @Uber @lyft driver for over 30 min!” she wrote in another Twitter post, referring to a Wednesday news conference about the attack in New York.
Sayfullo Saipov, the Uzbek immigrant suspected of plowing a truck into cyclists and pedestrians on a bike path, had been a driver for Uber, the company confirmed on Tuesday.
Saipov was charged in federal court on Wednesday with acting on behalf of the militant group Islamic State.
Loomer’s comments about Muslims and Muslim drivers caused an uproar on the social media service.
By Wednesday evening, Uber, which Loomer had previously criticized as anti-Semitic, said she would not be able to use the service.
“Ms. Loomer was banned for violating our Community Guidelines,” Uber spokesman Matt Kallman said in an email.
Her Lyft account was also deactivated, said Scott Coriell, a spokesman for that ride-sharing service.
Loomer was quick to respond, again using the Twitter platform to say that Uber was trying to “ban a conservative journalist for addressing legitimate safety concerns.”
She did not respond immediately to a request for further comment submitted through her Facebook page.
In June, Loomer disrupted a performance of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” because the character of the assassinated Roman dictator was costumed to resemble U.S. President Donald Trump.
Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Paul Tait