At the West Virginia statehouse, a fight broke out between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over the display of an Islamophobic poster tying Rep. Omar to 9/11. Nathan Rousseau Smith has the latest.
ELMIRA, N.Y. – A New York man is in custody after federal authorities say he threatened to kill freshman Congresswoman Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Patrick W. Carlineo, 55, of Addison, was arrested Friday morning and charged by criminal complaint with threatening to assault and murder Omar, a Democrat representing Minnesota.
On March 21, a staff member in Omar’s office received a phone call around 12:20 p.m., the criminal complaint states. During the call, an individual, eventually identified as Carlineo, allegedly said to the staff member, “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s an (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”
Democratic House leaders denounced fellow Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar’s tweet, saying, “Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception.”
After receiving the call, Omar’s office referred the threat to the United States Capitol Police, which began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.
Omar is a freshman representative who was elected to the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm election and one of three members of Congress who are Muslim. Her freshman class was marked by its diversity, bringing more people of color and women to Congress than ever before.
Only three months in office, Omar sparked controversy over her criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and Israel lobbying efforts.
She posted a series of tweets in February implying the influence of pro-Israel lobbying groups was stifling debate about Israel and Palestine. Critics said the comments played into enduring stereotypes about Jewish money controlling politics.
In the aftermath of the controversy, the House passed a resolution that broadly condemned hate. It was originally crafted solely on denouncing anti-Semitism but later broadened to condemning other forms of bigotry against minorities.
Carlineo provided a name and phone number to Omar’s staff member, and authorities were able to trace the phone number to an Addison address.
He was questioned March 29 by FBI agents at his residence in Steuben County, according to the criminal complaint.
Carlineo told the agents he is a patriot, that he loves President Donald Trump and hates radical Muslims in government, the complaint stated.
“If our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head,” he told the agents, according to federal court documents.
Carlineo also told agents he didn’t remember exactly what he said to Omar’s staffer but admitted it might have been close to what her office reported to authorities.
He said that “Omar supported Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that her election to Congress was illegitimate,” according to the criminal complaint.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate after an upheaval that split Democrats and clouded their agenda. But Pelosi said the measure won’t name Ilhan Omar. (March 7)
When asked if there were any weapons in the residence, Carlineo confirmed there was a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle, according to the complaint.
Carlineo made an initial appearance Friday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and is being held pending a detention hearing at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Follow Jeff Murray on Twitter @SGJeffMurray.
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