A source in Minneapolis’ Somali community said this week that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) told her friends years ago that her second husband was in fact her brother.
Omar has repeatedly dismissed the allegation as an Islamophobic conspiracy theory and did so again this week.
“The same people who chastise the progressive movement regularly traffic in anti-Muslim smears and hate speech against me and those I represent. It’s almost as if they don’t genuinely care about online harassment,” she said. “Paying people to generate fake news stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent isn’t a good look. Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool.”
Paying people to generate fake new stories in order to delegitimize me and those I represent isn’t a good look.
Desperation is a sad mobilizing tool.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 20, 2020
She then retweeted an article calling the allegation a “pro-Israel Zionist/far-right collusion.”
Ilhan Omar RTs a post calling me “Pro-Israel touting David Steinberg.”
It calls out “Pro-Israel Zionist/far-right collusion.”
It says my articles “stink of brazen collusion” w/ the Murdochs.
— David Steinberg (@realDSteinberg) February 21, 2020
Omar, however, continues to decline to speak to the media about the allegation and the source, Abdihakim Osman, said he has never received any payment to discuss Omar’s past.
“Abdi received no payment from the Daily Mail and has been telling me the same story for over three years at no charge. Preya Samsundar and David Steinberg have also confirmed the story via social media several times over. Omar is a world-class faker and fraud,” Scott Johnson of Powerline wrote Friday.
Omar and Ahmed Hirsi were first married in 2002 during an Islamic ceremony, but separated for the first time six years later. She then married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the man who is allegedly her brother, in 2009. While still married to Elmi and separated from Hirsi, Omar filed joint tax returns with Hirsi in 2014 and 2015 in violation of state and federal tax law, as The Minnesota Sun reported. Omar was still legally married to Elmi in 2012 when she had a third child with Hirsi. Elmi and Omar didn’t divorce until 2017.
Omar married Hirsi for a second time, this time in a civil ceremony, in 2018 and the two divorced late last year.
“People began noticing that Ilhan and Hirsi were often with a very effeminate young guy,” Osman said. “Hirsi and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like.”
“When Hirsi and Ilhan got married, a lot of people were invited. It was a big Islamic wedding uniting two large clans in the Minneapolis community. I would say there were 100-150 people there,” he added. “When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.”
Omar’s marriage to Elmi was officiated by a Christian minister despite her Muslim faith, and the minister has declined to speak to the press.
“She said she needed to get papers for her brother to go to school. We all thought she was just getting papers together to allow him to stay in this country. Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans,” Osman continued. “They both moved to North Dakota to go to school but she was still married to Hirsi. In the Somali way, the only marriage that mattered was the one in the mosque. Ilhan came back to Minneapolis all the time to see her family, but her brother didn’t come with her.”
Osman runs a popular Facebook page under the name Xerta Shekh and regularly posts information about Omar.
New York Post reported last month that the FBI was reviewing claims that Omar married her brother after a “concerned party” met with two FBI agents and “handed over a trove of documents.” The FBI agents said they would share the information with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Education.
Marriage fraud is a felony offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Johnson said Friday that the “underlying story is Omar’s reign of terror seeking to suppress the story.”
“As of this morning, I can’t find a story in the Minnesota media that follows up on the Daily Mail’s report that Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother in 2009 for fraudulent purposes,” said Johnson. “They remain in silent mode.”
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