Patrick Carlineo, a resident of Addison, New York, who called Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office and threatened to shoot her after calling her a “terrorist” pleaded guilty to the crime on 18 November, reported AP.
“He has taken responsibility for using threatening and inappropriate language to express [his] beliefs in this instance,” his lawyer Sonya Zoghlin said in a statement.
Zoghlin said Carlineo was passionate about his beliefs and has “taken responsibility for using threatening language to express them”, but never intended to harm Omar.
Patrick Carlineo, 55, now faces up to 10 years in prison for the 21 March threat and is scheduled to be sentenced on 13 February.
Carlineo, 55, reportedly called Omar's Washington, DC, office on 21 March and told a staffer:
"Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she's a f***ing terrorist. I'll put a bullet in her f***ing skull," according to a press release from the US Attorney’s office.
Carlineo had proceeded to give the staffer his name and contact information.
After the call, Omar’s office alerted US Capitol Police, who launched a joint investigation with the FBI.
Carlineo initially denied to FBI agents that he had threatened to shoot the Minnesota Democrat, reported CBS Rochester.
He told investigators his exact words on the occasion had been "if our forefathers were still alive, they'd put a bullet in her head."
However, investigators told Carlineo that there was a recording of the phone call, prompting the man to backtrack and claim he could not remember exactly what he said.
The suspect also confessed to agents that he had a .22 caliber firearm and a shotgun in his home.
The suspect later told federal investigators that he was a “patriot” and hated radical Muslims who are critical of President Trump.
Before his call to Omar’s office, Carlineo had made frequent social media posts about what he saw as a danger posed to the US by the Muslim Brotherhood and alluding to violence against Muslims and US officials including former president Barack Obama, according to a Guardian report in April 2019.
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office has not commented on Carlineo’s admission.
Omar, who represents Minnesota's 5th Congressional district and was among the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, is Somali-American and wears a hijab.
She has been on the receiving end of harsh criticism for remarks she made in recent months about Israel, Jewish influence in Washington, and 9/11.
Omar subsequently apologised for suggesting that lawmakers support Israel for money, and has said that criticising the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic.