Violent rhetoric has consequences. A Trump supporter from New York has been arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York. That man — Patrick Carlineo Jr. — placed an angry phone call to the office of Minnesota Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar back on March 21, apparently convinced that the Muslim woman works for the overseas faction the Muslim Brotherhood. Omar’s office referred the matter to U.S. Capitol Police, and Carlineo was eventually arrested, although not before he repeatedly bungled his story to authorities and had to be reminded that perjury is a crime.
In his original call on which he spoke to one of Omar’s staffers, he ranted:
‘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.’
When confronted at his home by federal agents days after making the call, Carlineo alleged that he’d said that “if our forefathers were still alive,” they would be the ones to kill Omar, not him. Only after agents referenced the fact that they had a recording of the call did he ditch that last ditch effort to escape responsibility for his violence, and switched his story to claiming he couldn’t remember the exact contents of the conversation. In the house where authorities confronted him, Carlineo apparently had a shotgun and a .22 caliber firearm that he originally claimed belonged to his girlfriend before admitting they were his.
He justified his behavior by asserting that he is a “patriot… loves the president… [and] hates radical Muslims in our government” and adding that Omar “supported Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and that her election to Congress was illegitimate” with an unsurprising apparent complete lack of even attempts at evidence to back up his claim.
Omar has faced harsh criticism throughout her comparatively short time in office for reasons including her own criticism of the influence of certain special interests on American government. She’s claimed that money from pro-Israel interests fosters a dual loyalty on the part of certain U.S. interests, which she apologized for after facing scrutiny for supposedly reviving the anti-Semitic tropes of Jews fueling secretive dissent with money. In the tumult, the Democrat-led U.S. House passed a resolution condemning hate speech.
Omar has been targeted by violence before, attracting attention on the grassroots level for reasons well outside of rhetorical concerns. Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson was arrested earlier this year over plotting domestic terrorism targeting a hit list including Omar alongside other high-profile Democratic leaders and media figures.
On a different level, recently, online conservative provocateurs Jacob Wohl and Laura Loomer went to Omar’s district to prove their tinfoil hat claim that the Congresswoman had married her cousin. They put on a real melodramatic show while they were there, with Wohl donning body armor and hiring supposed outside security and reporting death threats to cops that he’d sent himself.
Omar is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, serving alongside Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, who’s attracted her own attention including for her continued push to impeach President Donald Trump.
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