North Side man threatened ‘slaughter’ at abortion clinic, feds say

Farhan Sheikh later said he was ‘joking’ when he made the comments online, according to a criminal complaint.

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Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Sun-Times files

A North Side man threatened online last week to “slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor i see” at an abortion clinic a few miles from his home, according to a federal criminal complaint. 

Farhan Sheikh, 19, allegedly said he would carry out his threat Aug. 23. He added in posts filled with misspellings and grammatical errors, “To all the fbi agents in this app, I am NOT a satirical account. I post what I mean, and i WILL carry out what I post.”

But Sheikh is now in federal custody and faces a detention hearing Tuesday. He made his alleged comments on the meme website and app known as iFunny, and he later told authorities he had been joking.

One post appeared to reference the case of Justin Olsen, a teenage iFunny user from Ohio charged last week with using the site to threaten a federal law enforcement officer using the handle “ArmyOfChrist.” Authorities said they discovered 15 rifles, 10 semi-automatic pistols and 10,000 rounds of ammunition in Olsen’s home.

Sheikh allegedly adopted the username “awarded” on iFunny. The comments in question appear in the 12-page complaint filed against him, though the name of the clinic Sheikh allegedly targeted has been redacted. Authorities did not mention in the complaint the discovery of any weapons in Sheikh’s home.

A screenshot of text allegedly written by North Side man.

A screenshot of text allegedly written by a North Side man, Farhan Sheikh, who federal authorities say threatened to shoot up an abortion clinic near his home. Sheikh now says he was joking.

Federal criminal complaint

“I am done with my state and thier bullsh-- abortion laws and allowing innocrnt kids to be slaughtered for the so called ‘womans right’ bullsh--,” Sheikh allegedly wrote last Tuesday. “Ive seen nothing but whores go out of the way to get an abortion, but no more. I will not tolerate this anymore. Im DONE. On August 23rd 2019, I will go to the (clinic) in Chicago . . . I will proceed to slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor i see in the area and I will not back down. consider this a warning for anyone visiting . . . “

He allegedly added: “To all the fbi agents in this app, I am NOT a satirical account. I post what I mean, and i WILL carry out what I post.”

In an apparent reference to Olsen, Sheikh allegedly wrote: “They arrested armyofchrist for no reason except surpressing us and our freedoms. I will do the same to these f---ing whores who think its a ‘freedom’ to murder an innocent life. come after me you degenerate government puppets, stop me if you can . . . “ 

When the feds went to Sheikh’s home Friday, Sheikh admitted he used the “awarded” iFunny account, according to the complaint. When they asked him why he thought they were there, Sheikh allegedly said it was because of a “joke” he had posted. He also said he had chosen Aug. 23 at random. Finally, when asked why he directed his comments toward a particular clinic, he allegedly said, “I just searched a random clinic.”

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Manish Shah sentenced Luke Wiersma to 18 months in prison for threatening an abortion clinic in Chicago, labeling Wiersma’s threats an act of “terrorism” that “have no place here.”

Another young man, Jabari Dean, was charged in 2015 with threatening online to carry out a shooting at the University of Chicago. The feds ultimately decided to defer his prosecution, though, and he wound up appearing in a public service announcement for the FBI encouraging people to “think before you post.”

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