Tennessee Man Arrested for Making Threats to D.C. Planned Parenthood Facility
WASHINGTON – A Tennessee man was arrested today for allegedly posting threats online to “shoot up” a Planned Parenthood facility in Washington D.C. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee, and Timothy Slater, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Jacob Cooper, 20, of Clarksville, Tennessee, was charged with unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally transmitted in interstate or foreign commerce a communication containing a threat to injure another located in D.C. and elsewhere. Cooper made his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alistair E. Newbern in the United States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee. A preliminary and detention hearing is set for August 26, 2019.
According to the criminal complaint, Cooper went by the username “Jacco” on iFunny, a website where people can share photos, videos, and discussion topics. On August 13, 2019, in response to a post made by another user, Cooper allegedly left a comment stating, “Make sure you tell them about how I plan to shoot up a planned parenthood facility in Washington D.C., on August 19th at 3pm.” Cooper allegedly left a separate post on August 13, 2019 stating, “If you are a member of the FBI, CIA, whatever, and are on my profile I will trace your IP address and kill you if the opportunity arises. And I am dead serious about this. I’ll do it with ricin, a bomb, or .308. Whatever it takes, then end result will be the same. I am serious about this. If I am personally contacted by any federal agents, I will do this. I will kill you. Again, I am serious. Sic semper tyrannis.”
Cooper faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison if convicted.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rosenberg is prosecuting the case with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Byron Jones from the Middle District of Tennessee.