A New York man has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison on Friday by a Chief U.S. District judge for threatening to kill Rep. Ilhan Omar after the Minnesota Congresswoman asked for leniency.
Patrick Carlineo Jr. was convicted of threatening to assault and murder a United States official and for also being a felon in possession of firearms, The Department of Justice said in a statement.
According to Independent, Carlineo was facing up to 10 years in prison for calling Omar’s offices in March 2019 and telling her staff who answered he was going to put a bullet in Omar’s skull after accusing her of being a terrorist.
“Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a (expletive) terrorist. Somebody ought to put a bullet in her skull,” he said during the call. “Back in the day, our forefathers would have put a bullet in her (expletive).”
He allegedly also added he’ll “put a bullet in her (expletive) skull.”
Explaining Carlineo’s motive, The Department of Justice said he “made the threatening call to retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties.”
“Because he hates individuals he views as radical Muslims being in the United States government, he believed that Congresswoman Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that Congresswoman Omar’s election to the United States Congress was illegitimate,” the statement added.
A convicted felon who was barred from possessing firearms in 1998, a loaded .45 caliber handgun, three rifles, two shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition were also found in his Addison home in April 2019 after his arrest.
Possibly facing a long sentence, Omar asked “for a system of compassion to be applied to his sentencing” in a November 2019 letter to the judge handling the case.
“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion. Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment,” wrote the Somali-American politician.
Omar, who is the first African refugee in Congress, has been on the receiving end of relentless attacks and hateful comments for her political views from her opponents including U.S. President Donald Trump.
“Threats of political violence and hate speech are not unique to Mr. Carlineo. They are an increasing feature in our public sphere. We will not defeat it with anger and exclusion. We will defeat it with compassion,” she said.
Sharing my full letter on the the sentencing of Patrick W. Carlineo, a man convicted of threatening my life.
We must apply a system of compassion to criminal justice.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 19, 2019
Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, Omar emigrated to the U.S. settling in Arlington, Virginia. Her family later moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her political success made her the first of two Muslim women to obtain state seats in the midst of religious and racial tensions.