Chicago, USA — Authorities arrested an Uber driver after posting a series of Facebook rants detailing mass shootings he planned to carry out. One of his victims allegedly included the city’s former mayor, Rahm Emanuel.
Mohammad Waqas Khan, 29, claimed that he wanted to shoot numerous people before leaving for a scheduled trip to Pakistan in June.
“If I see a high value target Ima exploit it,” Khan posted on his Facebook profile on May 7. “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.”
A week later, Khan wrote a lengthy post on Facebook where he expressed his frustration against Emanuel. In the post, he claimed the ex-mayor “have doomed Chicago to an early grave.”
“You shall be taught a lesson you will not forget! Rabid dogs!” Khan warned on his Facebook status.
Furthermore, Khan also complained about excessive noise in his neighborhood. Attached on the Facebook post was a picture of him wearing a black mask and holding a shotgun.
Authorities were tailing Khan’s 1995 Toyota Corolla during his shift as an Uber driver.
During which time, Khan posted another threat on his Facebook account. “The gun is cocked and ready to go,” Khan wrote on Facebook. “I’m not leaving America without my revenge even if it costs me my life. And that’s that.”
When DuPage County sheriff’s police pulled over Khan’s car, they found a loaded Glock pistol in the car. Shortly after they took Khan to custody, he allegedly assaulted a police officer at the DuPage County Jail. A $100,000 bail for that case was held for Khan, according to the complaint.
A district court filed an arrest warrant on the federal charges against Khan and held a detention hearing last Monday.
Khan’s Defense attorney argues that his speech was similar to rap lyrics and was protected by the First Amendment.
However, Khan’s attorney, Ellen Domph, appealed the court’s conviction, saying her client’s speech was a form of artistic expression. She also argued that Khan’s intention of hurting people was not genuine and he does not really want to kill anyone.
Still, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the jury’s decision finding him guilty of making interstate threats to injure others. “Khan’s posts were so violent, explicit, and resolute that they constituted threats,” the court’s 22-page opinion said. “This is enough to reasonably infer Khan’s intent to commit an act of unlawful violence towards a particular group of individuals.”