A 55-year-old man from upstate New York has been arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., of Addison, New York, was charged by criminal complaint with threatening to assault and murder a United States official and may face up to 10 years in prison or a $250,000 fine, or both, U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. said in a statement on Friday.
According to a criminal complaint and affidavit, Carlineo made a call on March 21 to the representative’s office in Washington, D.C.
During the call, Carlineo Jr. 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,” according to the Department of Justice.
After speaking with the staffer, Carlineo left his contact information, according to the FBI.
After receiving the call, the threat was referred to the United States Capitol Police, Threat Assessment Section, who began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.
When authorities went to Carlineo’s home, he seemed to know why the FBI wanted to speak to him. “He stated that he was a patriot, that he loves the President, and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” notes the affidavit. He also said that Omar “supported Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and that her election to Congress was illegitimate.”
Carlineo initially told authorities he had told Omar’s staffer that “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head,” denying he called her a terrorist and threatened to kill her.
But after he was warned that it was a crime to lie to an FBI agent, he acknowledged he may have said something to that effect. When he was asked whether there were any weapons in his house, Carlineo said he had a shotgun and a .22 caliber gun. He first tried to claim the firearms belonged to his girlfriend but later admitted they were his.
The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) characterized this as another example of how President Trump’s rhetoric has emboldened bigots.
“The political environment, led by an Islamophobe in the White House, has normalized hate speech and emboldened bigots in their actions,” CAIR-NY executive director Afaf Nasher said. “The rising threat of Islamophobia and white supremacy must be taken seriously. We are thankful that law enforcement tracked this individual down before he could act on his hatred for Muslims.”