Phoned-in threat to Rep. Ilhan Omar results in arrest of NY state man, 55, authorities say
Patrick W. Carlineo, Jr., 55, of Addison, N.Y., allegedly made the expletive-laced phone threat March 21, telling one of Omar's staffers they were working for a “terrorist," a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office said Friday.
“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull,” an angry Carlineo said, according to the release.
While he allegedly railed against Omar, a Somali-American and one of two Muslim women in Congress, Carlineo gave the staffer his name and contact information. Omar’s office then alerted Capitol Police, who launched an investigation with the FBI, the release said.
Carlineo told the FBI that he is a patriot, "loves the president and that he hates radical Muslims in our government," according to a criminal complaint.
The 55-year-old was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder a United States official. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
His defense attorney declined to comment Friday.
Omar has been the center of a firestorm that began earlier this year over her controversial comments that have been widely criticized as anti-Semitic. She recently reignited the controversy, saying groups supportive of Israel were pushing members of Congress to have “allegiance to a foreign country,” echoing the anti-Semitic trope of dual loyalty.
The congresswoman later apologized, saying "anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.