The FBI is investigating a threat made in graffiti at a Minnesota gas station against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) last month, according to the local Pioneer Press.
“We are aware of that piece of graffiti at the convenience store and are looking into it with some of our law enforcement partners,” Kevin Smith, the public affairs officer for the FBI Minneapolis Division, told the Pioneer Press Monday. The FBI is involved because Omar is a federal elected official, according to the Pioneer Press.
Last month, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” was found scrawled in sharpie pen on a bathroom stall at a Holiday gas station in Rogers, Minnesota. The man who discovered the threat took a photo of the graffiti and posted it on social media, after he confronted the gas station attendant about getting rid of it, he told the Pioneer Press.
Omar’s spokesperson Jeremy Slevin told TPM he “can’t comment on ongoing investigations,” but said any time the office receives a threat, it is reported to the Capitol Police.
Smith, from the Minneapolis branch of the FBI, did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.
When the photo surfaced on social media, Omar reposted it on Twitter, blaming “anti-Muslim” rhetoric from Republicans. She shared a news report about the West Virginia Republican Party likening her to a terrorist that was found on a display inside the statehouse.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 1, 2019
Omar has been accused of anti-Semitism in recent days for perpetuating tropes against Jewish people in her condemnations of the Israeli government. House Democrats are planning to vote on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism on Wednesday.
Omar and some of her defenders have pushed back against criticism on the right and left, alleging hypocrisy from members who have let homophobic or anti-black comments slide for decades.
It’s not my position to tell people how to feel, or that their hurt is invalid.
But incidents like these do beg the question: where are the resolutions against homophobic statements? For anti-blackness? For xenophobia? For a member saying he’ll “send Obama home to Kenya?”
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 5, 2019