The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Trump supporter pleads guilty to death threats against Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Trump supporter pleads guilty to death threats against Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar has received a death threat [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 November, 2019

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Patrick Carlineo has been sentenced after sending Ilhan Omar a death threat.
A supporter of US President Donald Trump pleaded guilty Monday to threatening to kill the first American hijab-wearing Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

The New York-based man, Patrick Carlineo, entered the plea Monday admitting to charges that carry up to 10 years in prison. 

Prosecutors say the 55-year-old called Omar's office March 21, told a staffer the congresswoman was a "terrorist" and then threatened to shoot her.

Carlineo later told the FBI that he is a patriot, hates people he perceives to be "radical Muslims", and loves Republican President Donald Trump, according to a criminal complaint.

Omar, a Democrat, is among the first Muslim women in Congress. Her office had no immediate comment on Carlineo's plea.

Read also: What Labour's women can learn from their US sisters, Tlaib and Omar

US Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said the case highlights that free speech rights carry the responsibility "that individuals not make threats to harm lawmakers simply because they may disagree with them".

Carlineo's lawyer, Sonya Zoghlin, says Carlineo is passionate about his political beliefs and his right to express them. 

"He has taken responsibility for using threatening and inappropriate language to express those beliefs in this instance," she said in an email, adding that Carlineo never intended to harm Omar and never made any plans to do so. 

Carlineo's plea included admitting he illegally held guns. He'd been barred from possessing weapons after a 1998 felony criminal mischief conviction, prosecutors said.

Omar has been a target of Islamophobic abuse since she she was elected into Congress in 2016. 

The Muslim Congresswoman has suffered a barage of public attacks from Trump, including one tweet widely derided as racist when he told left-leaning Democrat politicians to "go back" to their "corrupt and inept" countries.

Although he did not mention Omar by name, most people viewed the tweet to be directed at the Somali-born Democrat, among others he has publically attacked.

Omar said that she receives more death threats when Trump publically berates her.

Last month, a North Dakota state senator said he was sorry for posting a long-debunked photo that purported to show Omar holding a weapon at an Al-Qaeda training camp. But the lawmaker, Republican Oley Larsen, added that he wouldn’t apologise to Omar.

Carlineo's sentencing is set for 14 February.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More