Man charged with threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar cited her Muslim faith
Police on Friday arrested and charged 55-year-old New York resident Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr. with threatening to assault and kill Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after federal authorities said he made death threats against her.
According to a criminal complaint and affidavit, Carlineo, of Addison, New York, was arrested after he made a call on March 21 to the representative’s office in Washington, D.C. During the call, he said, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a fucking terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull,” CNN reported.
When he was interviewed by the FBI, Carlineo said he loved President Donald Trump and “hates radical Muslims in our government.”
After speaking with the staffer, Carlineo left his contact information, according to the FBI.
Carlineo’s comments are not the first time Omar, who is the first black Muslim woman to serve in the House of Representatives and the first member of Congress to wear hijab, has been threatened or harassed while in office. The Los Angeles-based online publication The Blast reported last week that the LAPD is investigating a March incident in which a woman called the Hilton Hotel in Woodland Hills, where Omar was scheduled to speak, and threatened a bomb attack.
According to The Blast, the caller, who has not been identified, said in a voicemail, “What would you do if I told you your hotel was going to be bombed? That is exactly what’s going to happen if you allow the likes of Ilhan Omar into your hotel. She is a danger to American society and your hotel. You are not to allow her foot into there if you value your own safety. Do not allow her in there. Cancel the event.”
On March 23, hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the hotel where Omar was speaking for the Council on American Islamic Relations of Greater Los Angeles’ fourth annual Valley Banquet. Counter-protesters also showed up in support of Omar. Ariella Plachta, reporter for the L.A. Daily News, tweeted about the protest, “a mix of MAGA hats, Jewish community members and Evangelical pro-Israel types.”
In February, after Omar posted a tweet suggesting that pro-Israel groups such as American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) bought the support of members of Congress, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized her comments and accused her of employing anti-Semitic tropes. The widespread condemnation of Omar dominated the news cycle for days, with some suggesting that the attacks against her were a bad-faith effort to single out a black Muslim woman. Indeed, other lawmakers, such as Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Steve King (R-IA), and Jim Jordan (R-OH), have made similar comments but have received little condemnation or news coverage.
Shortly after the controversy over the tweet, Omar was the target several threats and incidents of Islamophobia. In March, she tweeted an image of graffiti at a gas station in Minnesota that read, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar.” Later that month, a West Virginia statehouse also allowed an Islamophobic organization, WV Act for America, to put up a poster with an image of Omar under the World Trade Center with the words, “‘Never Forget’” — You said.. I am proof that you have forgotten.” Few of her colleagues in Congress spoke out against these incidents.
The latest death threat of Omar comes only weeks after a white supremacist opened fire at two mosques in New Zealand, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more. The shooter left a manifesto that mentioned Trump and what he referred to as “white genocide.” He also called Muslims “the most despised group of invaders in the West.”
Six days later, Carlineo called Omar’s office and threatened her life. He faces up to 10 years in prison.