Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota Democrat who became one of the first Muslim women to be elected to the Congress, faces more than just vitriolic trolls online. Omar was the subject of death threats last week when a caller to her office told a staff member that he would put a bullet in her skull, according to USA Today.
"Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood?" the caller, whose identity has now been disclosed, asked the staffer. He then proceeded to berate the staffer, calling Omar a terrorist and threatening to assassinate her in no uncertain terms, as shown in the Twitter post, below.
Omar's office referred the call to the United States Capitol Police, which began an investigation along with the FBI. Surprisingly, the man who called had left a phone number, which helped officers trace it to an Addison address. When investigators located the caller, a man named Patrick W. Carlineo, on March 29, he told them that he had threatened Ilhan Omar with death because he was a patriot.
"Carlineo told the agents he is a patriot, that he loves President Donald Trump and hates radical Muslims in government," according to the report.
Officers said that Carlineo was cooperative in the investigation and although he claimed that he didn't remember the contents of his threat call, he admitted that what Omar's office had told the police was not incorrect. Police also recovered a shotgun and a.22-caliber rifle from his home.
The New York man was subsequently taken into custody by the police and on Friday morning, he was charged with threatening to assault and murder a United States official.Omar, along with fellow freshmen congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been the subject of right-wing attacks since being elected. She recently received backlash on Twitter for criticizing the military tactics of Israel, with many arguing her tweets played into the stereotyping of American Jews. Omar went on to clarify her comments, claiming that she was against any type of discrimination, but her views on Palestine have not put her in good stead among supporters of Donald Trump.
Attacks against Democrats by supporters of the president have been on the rise, with Florida resident Cesar Sayoc mailing 16 crude bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of Trump late last year in an effort to "threaten and intimidate people." Facing a total of 65 counts, he has since pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism charges and could spend the rest of his life in jail.