Ilhan Omar: New York man charged with threatening to kill Muslim congresswoman

Adam Forrest

A man has been charged with threatening to kill one of the first Muslim women to serve in the US Congress.

Patrick Carlineo Jr was arrested after placing a call to Ilhan Omar's office in which he allegedly called the Democrat a “terrorist” before threatening to shoot her, federal prosecutors said.

The FBI said that the 55-year-old sounded angry during the call to the Washington DC office of the of Minnesota representative, but he “spelled his name correctly and provided contact information” to a staffer.

Mr Carlineo later told bureau investigators that he “loves the president and that he hates radical Muslims in our government,” according to the criminal complaint filed by US Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York.

Ms Omar became one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress at last year’s midterms, joining the House of Representatives in January.

During the call the 55-year-old allegedly said: “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.”

The 21 March call was initially reported to the US Capitol Police, who began an investigation in coordination with the FBI.

The prosecutor’s office said Mr Carlineo had been arrested and charged by criminal complaint with threatening to assault and murder a US official. He is being held pending a detention hearing on 10 April.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Mr Carlineo’s defence attorney declined to comment on the charges.

Ms Omar was met with a backlash for remarks she made earlier this year on Israel, including comments that US supporters of Israel are pushing people to have “allegiance to a foreign country”.

Both leading Republicans and members of her own Democratic party criticised Ms Omar’s comments as antisemitic.

She later apologised, saying “antisemitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of antisemitic tropes”.

Additional reporting by Associated Press