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‘It’s like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying kill, kill, kill,’ says FBI director James Comey

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Keeping in mind a recent attack during a Prophet Mohammed Cartoon contest held in Texas, the FBI director James Comey has said that Islamic State is leveraging social media to recruit people in the US.

“Hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across the country are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the US, he told reporters on Thursday, according to USA Today.

At a time when US is surrounded with problems like racism, the Islamic State took the opportunity to recruit a large number of youth from the badly affected states of Texas, Mississippi, Buffalo and other areas.  “It’s like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying ‘kill, kill, kill,’” Comey said while talking about a recent attack at Garland in Texas.

Comey said that Texas case is symbolic to counterterrorism and we are repeatedly trying to find the operative unit of IS in America. IS recruiters operating from safe havens in Syria are making initial contacts with recruits, mostly on Twitter, and are then “steering” them into encrypted venues where their subsequent communications are “lost to us,” he said.

“The haystack is the entire country,” Comey was quoted as saying. “We are looking for the needles, but increasingly the needles are unavailable to us. This is the ‘going dark’ problem in living color. There is Elton Simpsons out there that I have not found and I cannot see,” he added.

The FBI is investigating around the country with a focus on every violent organization with inquiries open in all 56 of the FBI’s field divisions, he said. “ISIS is a very popular fad among a lot of disturbed people,” he concluded.

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Testing Of Self-Driving School Bus Halted In Florida, USA

French utility Veolia agreed to sell its 30 percent stake in Transdev to Germany's Rethmann Group.

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transdev
FILE - The headquarters of French international public transport company Transdev is seen in Issy-les-Moulineaux. VOA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday said it had ordered Transdev North America to immediately stop transporting schoolchildren in Florida in a driverless shuttle as the testing could be putting them at “inappropriate” risk.

The auto safety agency known as NHTSA said in an order issued late Friday that Transdev’s use of its EZ10 Generation II driverless shuttle in the Babcock Ranch community in southwest Florida was “unlawful and in violation of the company’s temporary importation authorization.”

“Innovation must not come at the risk of public safety,” said Deputy NHTSA Administrator Heidi King in a statement.

Transdev
Uber began testing self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and is now rolling out the service in San Francisco. (Uber), VOA

“Using a non-compliant test vehicle to transport children is irresponsible, inappropriate, and in direct violation of the terms of Transdev’s approved test project.”

In March, NHTSA granted Transdev permission to temporarily import the driverless shuttle for testing and demonstration purposes, but not as a school bus.

The agency said the company had agreed to halt the tests. A spokeswoman for Transdev did not respond to several requests for comment Monday.

Transdev North America is a unit of Transdev, which is controlled by France state-owned investment fund Caisse des Depots et Consignations.

The company in August issued a news release saying it would “operate school shuttle service starting this fall with an autonomous vehicle, the first in the world.”

Transdev
Self Driving Car, Google

Transdev said the 12-person shuttle bus would operate from a designated pickup area with a safety attendant on board, would travel at a top speed of 8 miles per hour (13 kph), with the potential to reach speeds of 30 mph (48 kph) once additional infrastructure was completed.

There are numerous low-speed self-driving shuttles being tested in cities around the United States with many others planned.

NHTSA previously said it was moving ahead with plans to revise safety rules that bar fully self-driving cars from the roads without equipment such as steering wheels, pedals and mirrors as the agency works to advance driverless vehicles. The agency has said it opposes proposals to require ‘pre-approving’ self-driving technologies before they are tested.

Also Read: LG Signs Deal For Developing Self-Driving Modules For Mobile Robots

NHTSA told Transdev that failure to take appropriate action could result in fines, the voiding of the temporary importation authorization or the exportation of the vehicle.

Earlier this month, French utility Veolia agreed to sell its 30 percent stake in Transdev to Germany’s Rethmann Group. (VOA)