An 18-year-old Ohio man charged with making vile threats against federal agents online was arrested last week at a home filled with 25 guns and more than 10,000 rounds of ammo, authorities have revealed.
Justin Olsen, 18, was taken into custody on August 7 after prosecutors say he threatened to assault a federal law enforcement officer on the social media website iFunny, where users can post memes, photos and statements on a number of topics.
Under the handle ‘ArmyOfChrist’, the teenager also bragged to fellow users of how he supported mass shootings, admired the culprits and said he condoned attacks on Planned Parenthood, an FBI affidavit states.
One of the specified threats related to a discussion thread on June 2, centred on the Branch Dividians in Waco, Texas, where cult leader David Koresh and his 80 disciples were killed in a 1993 raid that lasted for 51 days.
‘In conclusion, shoot every federal agent on site,’ Olsen wrote, declaring his violent aspirations.
Justin Olsen, 18, was taken into custody on August 7 after prosecutors say he threatened to assault a federal law enforcement officer on the social media website iFunny, where users can post memes, photos and statements on a number of topics
Under the handle ‘ArmyOfChrist’, the teenager also bragged to fellow users of how he supported mass shootings, admired the culprits and said he condoned attacks on Planned Parenthood, an FBI affidavit states
Olsen also told his followers to ‘stock up’ on guns that he believed federal bodies may outlaw in the future, and expressed his admiration for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, saying that the domestic terrorist, who was executed in 2001, was proof that ‘armed resistance is a viable method of political change,’ according to the affidavit.
‘There’s no legal solution,’ he continued.
Federal prosecutors say Olsen has been under investigation since February, but they decided they ‘couldn’t afford’ to wait any longer to act in light of the recent mass shootings across the U.S.
Authorities arrested Olsen as he walked from his home to his car. He made an initial appearance in front of a magistrate judge Monday, with preliminary and detention hearings scheduled for Friday.
His account ‘ArmyOfChrist’, which authorities traced back to him through an email address attached to the account, was first investigated by FBI agents in Alaska because of posts that supported and encouraged violence.
Authorities determined his posts seemed to be ‘politically motivated’. They became particularly concerned when he posted about being accepted into a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program in Alabama.
Olsen, who lives with his father, was arrested last week and was charged Monday with threatening a federal officer.
According to the FBI, Olsen admitted to being the author of the shocking comments, but said they were taken out of context and were only intended ‘as a joke’.
He said the message condoning the shooting of several agents was just ‘a hyperbolic conclusion based on the results of the Waco siege … where the ATF slaughtered families.’
Olsen also added that he made the comments on his ‘s*** account’, prosecutors say.
During a search of Olsen’s father’s home on August 7, they found thousands of rounds of ammunition, in addition to camouflage clothing, camouflage backpacks and a large gun vault.
Inside the vault were AR-15 style rifles and shotguns, police said. In total, 15 rifles – some of which were assault-style – and 10 semi-automatic pistols were found.
A machete was also discovered in the trunk of Olsen’s car, documents show.
His arrest came within the same week that Connor Betts opened fire in a nightlife district of Dayton, killing nine and injuring numerous others.
The massacre in Dayton followed just 10 hours after another mass shooting in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, where 22 were killed and in excess of 20 others hurt.
Olsen was the second person arrested by the FBI last week for making threats online. Conor Climo, 23, was arrested the following day over claims he’d been in contact with the neo-Nazi terrorist group, Atomwaffen Division.
‘Urging people to shoot federal agents is never acceptable,’ U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said of Olsen in a statement. ‘This defendant had access to an arsenal and we take his threats very seriously.’
A message seeking comment was left with his attorney. Olsen remains in custody at Mahoning County Jail.