Islamophobic Trump supporter who threatened to murder Ilhan Omar pleads guilty as congresswoman urges compassion

Patrick Carlineo made said he would ‘put a bullet’ in Democrat’s head, authorities say, but she pleads for restorative justice in place of long prison term

Lateshia Beachum
Wednesday 20 November 2019 13:43
Carlineo made the threat because he believes Ms Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood
Carlineo made the threat because he believes Ms Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood

A man who threatened to kill Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar has pleaded guilty, according to authorities.

Patrick Carlineo entered the guilty plea before chief US district judge Frank P Geraci for threatening to assault and murder the freshman congresswoman and for being a felon in possession of firearms, according to a statement released on Monday by the Department of Justice.

The plea stems from a March call that Carlineo made to Ms Omar’s Washington DC office.

“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?” he said to a member of Ms Omar’s staff in that call, according to a complaint filed earlier this year. “Why are you working for her, she’s a [expletive] terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull.”

The staff member remembered Carlineo saying, “I’ll put a bullet in her [expletive] skull,” the complaint said.

Carlineo made the call, according to the US Attorney’s office for the western district of New York, because he hates the idea that people he perceives as radical Muslims are part of the US government and because of his belief that Ms Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Carlineo also believed that Ms Omar’s election to Congress was illegitimate, authorities said.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 (£194,00) fine, but Ms Omar wrote an open letter to Mr Geraci requesting that he refrain from sentencing Carlineo to a long prison term and a large fine.

Carlineo needs compassion and restorative justice that will allow him to understand the consequences of his actions and to make amends, she wrote.

An investigation of Carlineo, conducted by the US Capitol Police’s threat assessment section and the FBI, prompted an interview with him at his home a week after his call to Ms Omar’s office, according to the complaint.

Carlineo told an FBI special agent that “if our forefathers were still alive, they’d put a bullet in her head”, the complaint stated.

He told investigators that he was a president Trump-loving patriot who “hates radical Muslims” in the government, according to the document.

Carlineo told FBI agents that he had a shotgun and a .22 calibre firearm at his home that he claimed belonged to his girlfriend but later admitted to belonged to him, according to the complaint.

Ilhan Omar finds it 'disgusting' that Muslim congress members constantly asked to condemn FGM, Hamas and al-Qaeda

In April, authorities uncovered a more expansive array of Carlineo’s firearms that included three rifles, two shotguns and hundreds of rounds of ammunition at his home, according to the officials.

Carlineo had a 1998 conviction for criminal mischief, which barred him from legally owning firearms.

Carlineo’s sentencing before Mr Geraci is scheduled for 14 February.

Ms Omar is one of the first Muslim women elected to serve in the US House of Representatives, and she has been the target of many Islamophobic comments since taking office.

In September, Mr Trump retweeted a post by a comedian that claimed Omar had been “partying” and “celebrating” the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The president commented that Mr Omar was “the new face of the Democrat Party”.

Ms Omar replied that Mr Trump was spreading lies and that she had been attending an event to celebrate black women in Congress.

The comedian, Terrence Williams, has since deleted the post.

The Washington Post

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