Far-left Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) responded to new allegations on Thursday that she had told friends that she married her brother in an apparent attempt to defraud the U.S. education system by claiming that she was the victim of a conspiracy theory and by attacking Meghan McCain.
Omar tweeted out two screenshots of tweets from McCain, one that called out socialist Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) supporters for some of their online behavior and the other that highlighted The Daily Mail’s explosive story from today on the new allegations made against Omar.
“The same people who chastise the progressive movement regularly traffic in anti-Muslim smears and hate speech against me and those I represent,” Omar claimed. “It’s almost as if they don’t genuinely care about online harassment.”
Omar then promoted a conspiracy theory, claiming, “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.”
No evidence has emerged that anyone has been paid to make up fake stories about her allegedly marrying her brother.
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
The Daily Mail reported on Thursday, “Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi.”
“People began noticing that Ilhan and Southside (Hirsi) were often with a very effeminate young guy [Ahmed Elmi],’ Osman said. “He was very feminine in the way he dressed — he would wear light lipstick and pink clothes and very, very, short shorts in the summer. People started whispering about him.”
“[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,”Osman continued. “So they sent him to Minneapolis as ‘rehab’.”
“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,” Osman continued. “Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans. 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.”
“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,” Osman added. “When she married Elmi, no one even knew about it.”
The Minnesota Star Tribune has reported the following timeline of Omar’s marital history:
- 1982: Ilhan Omar is born in Somalia, the youngest of seven children.
- 1997: Omar, still a teenager, settles in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis after fleeing Somalia’s civil war with her family and spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
- 2002: Omar, now 19, marries Ahmed Hirsi, 22, in their “faith tradition” in Minnesota, but they don’t legally marry.
- 2008: Omar and Hirsi, now the parents of two children, reach an “impasse in our life together” and divorce in their faith tradition.
- 2009: Omar, at 26, marries Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, 23, whom she identifies only as a “British citizen.” School records show he attended high school in St. Paul and studied art at North Dakota State University.
- 2011: Omar and Elmi end their relationship and divorce in their faith tradition, but do not legally divorce until 2017.
- 2012: Omar and Hirsi reconcile and have a third child together.
- 2014–15: Omar files joint tax returns with Hirsi, though they are not yet legally married; she remains legally married to Elmi.
- 2016: Omar, endorsed by the DFL over longtime incumbent Phyllis Kahn, is elected to the Minnesota House, becoming the first Somali-American, Muslim legislator in the United States. But her campaign is rocked by allegations in a Somali news forum and the conservative Power Line blog suggesting that Elmi is her brother and they married for unspecified immigration benefits.
- 2017: Omar is granted a legal divorce from Elmi.
- 2018: Omar legally marries Hirsi and is elected to Congress.
Allegations that Omar married her brother have followed her around her political career for years and she has refused to comment on the controversy in the past when confronted by media organizations.