Federal Charges Filed Against Chicago Man Who Allegedly Posted Online Threats of Violence at Women’s Reproductive Clinic
CHICAGO — A Chicago man has been arrested on federal criminal charges for allegedly threatening to commit violence at a women’s reproductive health clinic.
FARHAN SHEIKH, 19, is charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. Sheikh was arrested Friday night and made an initial court appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox. Judge Cox ordered Sheikh to remain in custody pending a detention hearing set for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m.
The complaint and arrest were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. The U.S. Marshals Service and the Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan M. Matthews.
Sheikh posted the threating communications on or about Aug. 13, 2019, on the social media platform iFunny, according to a criminal complaint and affidavit filed Saturday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. In one of the posts, Sheikh allegedly stated, “I am done with my state and thier (sic) [expletive] abortion laws and allowing innocrnt (sic) kids to be slaughtered for the so called ‘womans right’ [expletive].” According to the complaint, Sheikh wrote later in the post that he would visit the clinic on Aug. 23, 2019, and “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…”
Sheikh also wrote that his iFunny account is “NOT a satirical account. I post what I mean, and i WILL carry out what I post,” according to the complaint.
The charge in the complaint is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.