An Uber driver from Glen Ellyn, a suburb of Chicago about 25 miles to the west of the city, was arrested Monday on federal charges coming from several Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) posts he made threatening to shoot Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others who he did not like.
Mohammad Waqas Khan, 29, was arrested two months ago after being followed all night by authorities. He dropped off and picked up several passengers in his car throughout the night, according to a federal criminal complaint. Authorities were after him at the time because he made several threats on his Facebook profile. In the posts, he talked about killing people before leaving to Pakistan last month.
“If I see a high value target Ima exploit it,” Khan wrote on his Facebook profile two months ago, according to the complaint. “I’m not killin sum bum on the street. I want a high net worth individual to shoot. I want this to be a real human tragedy. Much mourned.”
Days later, he went after Emanuel, saying in a long post that the mayor and the “uppity aldermen have doomed Chicago to an early grave,” according to the charges. “You shall be taught a lesson you will not forget! Rabid dogs!” the post said.
Khan was also not a fan of the noise outside of his house and threatened to end it with a “murderous night,” according to the complaint. His photos also showed him in a black mask holding and shotgun. That was just one of the many pictures he had of firearms on his profile.
When authorities decided to follow and arrest him in his Toyota, they found a loaded Glock pistol in the car, according to the complaint. After being arrested, Khan was accused of assaulting a police officer at the DuPage County Jail. He is being held on a $100,000 bail.
Attorney Says They Are Rap Lyrics
At a hearing Monday, Khan’s attorney, Ellen Domph, said that her client was not going to carry out the threats posted on the site and that they are rap lyrics. Authorities are not so convinced about that with the things they have found.
Prosecutors say that Khan did not stop posting the threats and instead kept making more serious ones. They pointed out that he was planning on doing this while he was working for the ride share service, Uber. His original plan was to commit these acts of violence before his trip to Pakistan last month. “The gun is cocked and ready to go,” Khan wrote on Facebook just hours before he was arrested. “I’m not leaving America without my revenge even if it costs me my life. And that’s that.”
After authorities arrested him, they searched his home in Glen Ellyn and found a semiautomatic handgun, a shotgun, ammunition and a 10 inch knife. All the guns were found hidden in his bedroom. Authorities also found a sword in the basement.
Just a few hours ago, two state lawmakers, citing passenger safety, submitted a proposal to have drivers from companies like Uber and Lyft, go through criminal backgrounds and driving history checks.
“Rep. Moran and Sen. Dorcena Forry’s proposal is a deliberate attempt to protect a monopoly that has repeatedly failed consumers and will do nothing to account for consumer safety, simply destroying the thousands of jobs ridesharing creates across the commonwealth,” Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said.