Did Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) fraudulently marry her biological brother to game the immigration system and allow him to attend school in the U.S.?
The rumors appeared to have been recently confirmed by a prominent member of the local Somali community in Minneapolis in a bombshell report by the Daily Mail. In response, Omar, who has consistently denied the rumor over the years, essentially accused him of being paid off to make the accusation against her.
Somali leader confirms rumors
As reported by the Daily Mail, Minneapolis Somali community leader Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to say that it had previously been known by locals that Ahmed Elmi, congresswoman Omar’s second husband, was actually her brother by birth — a connection some in the media have sought to establish but failed to prove by virtue of the dearth of reliable records from Somalia.
Osman noted that the community had been aware of Omar’s marriage to her first husband, Ahmed Hirsi, in an unofficial Islamic ceremony, but that virtually nobody knew about her marriage to Elmi, which had been conducted out of town with a Christian minister in 2009. He surmised that Omar and Elmi had sought out a Christian minister for their nuptials since they knew that any local Islamic imam would have known they were related and refused to conduct the marriage.
Osman recalled that, at that time, Omar “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.” He added, “Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans,” and noted how both Omar and Elmi had attended North Dakota State University around the same time.
Omar, Osman trade shots
After the Daily Mail story began to circulate on social media, Omar took an apparent swipe at Osman on Twitter without mentioning his name. She tweeted on Thursday, “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.”
According to The Daily Caller, however, Osman didn’t take kindly to that swipe and responded forcefully with a post to a Somali community Facebook page he operates known as “Xerta Shekh.” In that post, Osman wrote, “I am going to declare under perjury of law that I have not received one single penny from anyone to discuss Ilhan Omars issues.”
“Ilhan Omar is a pathological liar who has lied about many people in different elections,” Osman continued. “Ilhan has lied to the people of America specifically the poor Somali people who trusted her to be their helper in Congress. She lied through her teeth to elderly people who stood in line for hours to vote for their dreams which they saw in her. She has disappointed them and I.”
The Daily Caller reached out to Omar’s office for comment on the recent developments but received no response. So too did the Daily Mail, but received only a terse reply from a spokesperson stating the congresswoman wouldn’t comment on allegations regarding her family or personal life.
What Omar has to say publicly about the allegations may ultimately not matter much, though, as the New York Post reported as confirmed in late January that the FBI was investigating claims that Omar had married her brother in a fraudulent arrangement.
Should that review of the allegations against Omar uncover verifiable evidence, it will reportedly be passed along to the proper authorities at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Education, as well as potentially other relevant agencies.
If that were to occur, Omar potentially faces federal and state charges that could include marriage fraud, immigration fraud, and student loan fraud, among other potential crimes.