A 19-year-old man from Chicago was charged Monday with threatening to attack an abortion clinic, publishing the ominous post on iFunny, a meme-sharing site that has become an online hub of far-right extremism.
Farhan Sheikh allegedly threatened to target doctors, patients, and visitors in his post. He is the second user on iFunny to be arrested in less than a week for allegedly making violent remarks on the site.
"I will proceed to slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor i see in the area and I will not back down," Sheikh, who reportedly went by the username "awarded," posted on the site, according to an FBI agent's affidavit. "Consider this a warning for anyone visiting."
FBI agents learned about the posts on Aug. 13, the same day that 18-year-old Justin Olsen from Ohio was charged with writing threats on the site, specifically against federal agents.
According to court documents, Sheikh referenced the arrest of Olsen, who went by "ArmyOfChrist" on the site and was found in his father's home with 15 rifles, 10 pistols, and about 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
It's not clear how the posts first came to the FBI's attention, but agents and analysts found multiple threats and posts assuring readers the profile was not a joke or a parody account.
"I am done with my state and thier bullshit abortion laws and allowing innocrnt kids to be slaughtered for the so called 'womans right' bullshit," the post read. "Ive seen nothing but whores go out of the way to get an abortion, but no more."
As if to drive the point home, the user followed up with a post addressed to FBI agents, stating that the account was not a parody: "I post what I mean, and i WILL carry out what I post."
According to an affidavit, the clinic was located 4 miles from Sheikh's home.
In the posts, Sheikh reportedly called the arrest of Olsen an act of suppression and that he would follow through on his threats. Olsen, who had amassed 5,000 subscribers on his account, reportedly told FBI officials his threats were a joke.
"The[y] arrested armyofchrist for no reason except surpressing us and our freedoms," Sheikh wrote, referring to Olsen's username. "I will do the same to these fucking whores who think its a 'freedom' to murder an innocent life. come after me you degenerate government puppets, stop me if you can..."
Three days later, however, when agents went to speak with Sheikh at his home, officials confirmed the iFunny account belonged to him and that his posts had been a joke.
Asked whether he had been specific about a shooting in his postings, he allegedly told agents, "I said those things." Sheikh said he had written a "random date" in the post referencing a shooting, and that he had "just searched a random clinic."
He was ordered to remain in custody Monday. He is set to have a detention hearing Tuesday. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.