An Ohio man was arrested and charged with trying to solicit the murder of members of the U.S. military in their homes and communities in a series of posts on social media, the FBI announced Thursday.
The FBI said Terrence J. McNeil, 25, of Akron, repeatedly professed his support for the Islamic State and in September distributed a file on Tumblr that contained the photographs and names and addresses of dozens of U.S. military personnel.
“Now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses,” text in the file said. “All you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for? Kill them in their own lands, behead them in their own homes, stab them to death as they walk their streets thinking that they are safe.”
The last image in the file depicted a handgun and knife and instructed readers to “kill them wherever you find them.”
Prosecutors said McNeil was also on Twitter under the handle “11LoneWolfe,” among others. According to the criminal complaint, he tweeted in July that he was willing to die: “Just thinking about getting martyred puts a smile on my face. One day soon inshallah.”
As McNeil constantly tried to evade content monitors on Twitter, the FBI said several of the accounts he created were suspended, including “Lone14Wolfe,” “Lone_Wolfe13” and “LoneWolfe_15.”
McNeil did not limit his activity to Tumblr and Twitter. On Facebook, he posted a message: “I can’t wait for another 9/11, Boston bombing, or Sandy Hook!!!” and “I’ll be proud when I sled [sic] american blood.”
Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook told reporters Thursday that the Pentagon takes threats against service members seriously.
“We will use every tool at our disposal, partnering with other agencies, to protect our men and women in uniform,” Cook said. “And we sincerely thank the Department of Justice for its efforts in this case.
FBI director James B. Comey has warned that the Islamic State has used social media to spread its violent propaganda and attract people who are “unmoored” to come to Syria or kill in the United States.
“It’s a great way to crowdsource terrorism,” Comey said recently, referring to social media.
Comey has said the FBI is tracking hundreds of cases like McNeil’s, many of them connected to Islamic State investigations.
McNeil made an initial appearance Thursday in federal court in Cleveland. Authorities said he is slated to have a detention hearing next week.
His attorney did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Thomas Gibbons-Neff contributed to this report.