The youngest of seven siblings, Ilhan Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1982. Her father, Nur Omar Mohamed (aka Nur Said Elmi Mohamed), was a party propagandist for Siad Barre, who ruled as the Marxist/Stalinist dictator of Somalia from 1969-91. Mohamed and his family fled that country after Barre’s fall from power in the civil war of 1991 and spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before subsequently migrating to America. Mohamed’s entry into the U.S. was illegal, however, because he never revealed his communist background on his Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, thereby violating the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965’s explicit prohibition on naturalization for anyone who, in the past ten years, has been involved with the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party of the U.S. or any foreign state, or who advocates world communism or totalitarian dictatorship even without formal group membership.
As a teenager, Ilhan Omar enrolled at North Dakota State University, where she joined the campus Muslim Students Association and eventually earned a degree in Political Science and International Studies. After completing her formal education, Omar worked as a community nutrition educator in the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area from 2006-09. In 2012 she served as campaign manager for Democrat Kari Dziedzic’s bid for re-election to the Minnesota State Senate, and also began a brief stint as a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education. From 2013-15, Omar was a senior policy aide to Minneapolis City Council member Andrew Johnson.
Aside from her political endeavors, Omar has served variously as an Advisory Board member for CAIR-Minnesota, Vice President of the Minneapolis NAACP, a Sister Planet Ambassador for Oxfam, a Board member of the Legal Rights Center, and the Director of Policy & Initiatives at the Women Organizing Women Network.
In 2016 Omar ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ticket. Soon after her victory in the primary that summer, she faced highly credible allegations that – in an effort to perpetrate immigration fraud and/or student loan fraud – she had married her own brother, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, in 2009 and was still legally his wife. Seven years before that, in 2002, Omar had married a first husband, Ahmed Hirsi (previously known as Ahmed Aden), who fathered her three children before the couple divorced in 2008. When Minnesota attorney Scott Johnson looked into the matter and asked Omar’s campaign to clarify the facts, Minneapolis criminal-defense attorney Jean Brandle responded on the candidate’s behalf: “There are people who do not want an East African, Muslim woman elected to office and who will follow Donald Trump’s playbook to prevent it. Ilhan Omar’s campaign sees your superfluous contentions as one more in a series of attempts to discredit her candidacy.” When Omar eventually petitioned to divorce Elmi in 2017, she made a number of demonstrably false claims, including an assertion that she had not had any contact with him since June 2011.
In 2018, Omar remarried Ahmed Hirsi. But in June 2019 it was learned that: (a) Omar and Hirsi together had filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, while Omar was still legally married to Elmi, and (b) Omar and Hirsi had lived together during the entire time that she was married to Elmi.
On July 30, 2019, the Daily Mail published photographs of Omar, who had recently move into a luxury penthouse apartment in an upscale Minneapolis neighborhood, leaving a remote restaurant in March 2019 with an unidentified man — not her husband — with whom she had been holding hands during dinner.
In late August 2019, numerous news outlets reported that Dr. Beth Mynett, wife of Democratic political consultant Tim Mynett, was filing for divorce because her husband, who had been working closely with Omar, was having an extramarital affair with the congresswoman. The divorce papers also claimed that Omar and Mr. Mynett had taken Mynett’s young son to dinner to “formally meet for the first time at the family’s favorite neighborhood restaurant,” and that Omar had given the boy a gift before entering the family’s home while Mrs. Mynett was away.
According to journalist Laura Loomer: “[N]ews also surfaced that Omar’s campaign funds heavily paid for her lover’s travel expenses upwards of $200,000. While the math is still being worked out, it’s estimated that one out of every three dollars of her campaign contributions went toward ‘political consultancy’.” On August 28, 2019, the Daily Caller reported:
“Omar’s campaign has disbursed $223,000 to Tim Mynett’s company, E. Street Group, LLC, from August 2018 through June 2019, mostly for fundraising consulting, FEC records show. But on April 1, her campaign began making payments to E Street Group for ‘travel expenses.’ Less than a week later, on April 7, Tim Mynett confessed to his wife that he was ‘romantically involved with and in love with’ Omar…. Beth Mynett said in her [divorce] filing that her husband’s ‘more recent travel and long work hour snow appear to be more related to his affair with Rep. Omar than with his actual work commitments.’ Omar’s campaign disbursed $21,547 to cover travel expenses for E. Street Group across eight payments from April through June , FEC records show.”
In August as well, the National Legal and Policy Center filed an FEC complaint charging that Omar’s campaign had violated a prohibition on candidates using campaign money for personal purposes.
In March 2020, Omar announced on Instagram that she had just married Mynett. “From partners in politics to life partners, so blessed,” she captioned a photo of herself and her new husband. That same month, The Washington Post reported: “Since 2018, Omar’s campaign paid about $586,000 to [Mynett’s] E Street Group for a range of services that included digital advertising, fundraising consulting, digital communications and design. The campaign also paid $7,000 to Mynett directly for fundraising consulting before hiring his consulting firm.”
In July 2020, updated campaign data showed that Omar had in fact paid Tim Mynett’s consulting firm much more money than had been previously known. As Fox News reported, the actual total was more than $878,000 since 2018.
Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November 2016, capturing 80.59% of the vote.
Omar vehemently opposed a January 2017 executive order by which President Donald Trump tried to place a temporary moratorium on the issuance of visas for people seeking to travel to the U.S. from seven majority-Muslim nations that were hotbeds of Islamic terrorism. The following month, she was a key participant in a meeting whose purpose was to condemn Trump’s immigration policies and to “form a Sanctuary City Task Force to better protect and defend undocumented families, Muslim residents and refugees.” At one point during the proceedings, Omar said: “This ban on refugees is rooted in racism and Islamophobia.”
In 2018, Omar ran for the 5th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives — the seat formerly held by Keith Ellison. That district contained an estimated 100,000 people of Somali heritage, making it by far the largest such community in the United States.
Omar’s congressional campaign was supported and funded by Our Revolution (closely affiliated with Bernie Sanders) and the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which held three fundraising events on Omar’s behalf in distant southern California. Other supporters included MoveOn.org; One Voice; Bend the Arc Jewish Action (a political action committee founded and chaired by George Soros’s son, Alex Soros); Hatem Bazian (founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and American Muslims for Palestine); James Zogby (president of the Arab American Institute); Rashida Tlaib (she sent Omar three contributions); and Debbie (Dhabah) Almontaser (who defended an Arab women’s group for marketing “Intifada NYC” T-shirts that glorified Palestinian terrorism). Yet another donor to Omar’s campaign was a man who, on his Facebook page, had displayed: (a) a photo of himself and his wife wearing Hamas scarves; (b) an Arabic phrase that said: “Jerusalem is ours, WE ARE COMING!”; and (c) maps in the shape of Israel over-written with the words: “Palestine” and “From the river to the sea!”
Omar was opposed to President Trump’s decision to reimpose strict economic sanctions against Iran in May 2018, when he withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal signed three years earlier by the Obama administration. A few months later, in January 2019, Omar tweeted: “Sanctions are economic warfare. They have already caused medical shortages and countless deaths in Iran.”
In March 2020, Omar, who had long opposed U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, called for the Trump administration to lift those sanctions because of the coronavirus pandemic that was hitting Iran particularly hard at that time. Retweeting a thread that blamed U.S. sanctions for a medical-supplies shortage in Iran, she wrote: “We need to suspend these sanctions before more lives are lost.” As TheFederalist.com pointed out: “She tweeted this in spite of the fact that it is the U.S. government’s long-standing policy, including during this pandemic, to permit the sale of ‘agricultural commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran’” — even though “Iran has historically exploited humanitarian aid to evade sanctions and underwrite its malign efforts.”
In October 2018, the Minnesota Sun reported that there was “probable cause” to believe that Omar and her 2016 campaign committee had committed “at least three separate [campaign finance] violations, including the alleged use of campaign funds to pay off legal fees related to her divorce.” When the Associated Press asked Omar about this – and about the allegation that she had committed immigration fraud by marrying her brother in an effort to help him obtain citizenship – she characterized the accusations as “disgusting lies” promoted by politicians who were “deeply invested in stopping a progressive, black, Muslim, hijab-wearing, immigrant woman.” Added Omar: “We know these people are part of systems that have historically been disturbingly motivated to silence, discredit, and dehumanize influencers who threaten the establishment.” With regard to the campaign-finance charges specifically, Omar simply said that she was choosing “not to further the narrative of those who oppose us.” In a tweet about the allegations, Omar attributed them to “hate groups” who “have one mission, to stop Muslims.”
On November 6, 2018, Omar won her congressional race, capturing 78% of the vote. Upon taking office in the U.S. House, she promptly joined the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She was also appointed by her Democrat colleagues to the prestigious House Foreign Affairs Committee.
In a 2018 interview, Al-Jazeera host Medhi Hasan said to Omar: “A lot of conservatives in America say that rise in Islamophobia is a result not of hate, but of fear, and legitimate fear, they say, of quote-unquote Jihadist terrorism … What do you say to them?” Omar replied: “I would say our country should be more fearful of white men across our country because they are actually causing most of the deaths within this country. And so if fear was the, the driving force of policies to keep America safe — Americans safe inside of this country — we should be profiling, monitoring, and creating policies to fight the radicalization of white men.”
In January 2019, Omar publicly commented on an incident that occurred following the anti-abortion “March For Life” in Washington, D.C., when numerous media outlets falsely accused a group of Catholic male high-school students who had attended the March — a few of whom were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats signifying their support for President Trump — of: (a) surrounding and menacing a nearby elderly Native American activist/Vietnam War veteran named Nathan Phillips; (b) hurling racist chants at Phillips; (c) taunting a group of black men who were also in the vicinity; (d) shouting “it’s not rape if you enjoy it”; and (e) shouting “Build the wall!” (a reference to Trump’s proposed construction of a border wall). Regarding these alleged events, Omar tweeted: “The boys were protesting a woman’s right to choose & yelled ‘it’s not rape if you enjoy it’ – They were taunting 5 Black men before they surrounded Phillips and led racist chants….” But video evidence subsequently showed that: (a) the Catholic youngsters had not made any of the offensive remarks originally attributed to them; (b) Phillips, who never actually served in Vietnam, had walked purposefully into the middle of the group of boys and stared down one of them while banging a drum and chanting just a few inches from the boy’s face; and (c) the nearby black men were in fact members of a racist, anti-Semitic cult known as the Black Hebrew Israelites, and they had been hurling racial and homophobic epithets at the boys. Upon becoming aware of these facts, Omar quietly deleted her tweet without any explanation or apology.
In a January 30, 2019 interview with Yahoo News, Omar was asked how the Democrats’ so-called “Green New Deal” — which called for the complete elimination of fossil fuels from the American economy by 2030 — could be adequately funded. She replied: “So there are a few things that we could do. One of them is that we could increase the taxes that people are paying who are the extremely wealthy in our communities. Seventy percent, 80 percent, we’ve had it as high as 90 percent. So that’s a place we can start. The one percent must pay their fair share…. The other thing we can do is we can tax corporations or have them level out the gap that exists with their workers.” Moreover, Omar called for steep cuts in the U.S. military budget: “I’m also one that really looks at the defense budget that we have. That has increased nearly 50 percent since 9/11. And so, most of the money that we have in there is much more than with we spend on education, on healthcare.”
Shortly after Omar had criticized what she viewed as the excessively harsh immigration policies of former President Barack Obama in March 2019, a Fox News reporter asked whether she thought that “Obama is the same as President Trump.” She replied angrily: “Absolutely not. That is silly to even equate the two. One is human and one [Trump] is really not.”
In a June 2019 interview with Public Radio International, Omar condemned the Trump administration for its “inhumane” and “un-American” treatment of “people who are coming to our borders seeking asylum,” saying: “We have an administration that is hell-bent on making people seem as if they are breaking laws when they are just within the borders of what is allowed by international law.” Accusing the administration of being “truly interested in limiting certain people from coming into this country,” she voiced agreement with fellow congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s recent claims that U.S. migrant facilities for illegal border crossers seeking asylum were “concentration camps.” Said Omar:
“When you look at what is taking place, people are being put in camps. And when you think about the definition, if we separate it from death camps, I would say these are camps and people are being concentrated in them. And so that’s the general definition. I think a lot of people are conflating what a death camp looks like or a specific removal of people. These people are coming to the border. We are removing them from the border. We are placing them in camps. Some of them are being removed from communities and being put in what we’re calling detention centers — but are essentially camps….
“When you talk about the process of de-humanizing people so that you can exterminate them, there is a process. When you are constantly engaging in the kind of rhetoric this administration has engaged in — when it comes to immigrants and people who are seeking asylum and refugees — we have to be alarmed. It is very worrisome. When we say ‘never again,’ that means we have to be vigilant that that doesn’t happen under our watch as we stay politically correct and try to find the proper words to use or even worse look the other way….
“I think often about the little Ilhans in refugee camps who are asking their families why it’s taking so long for their applications to be processed. I hope that we understand the kind of opportunities we can give to the 8-year-olds who are waiting for a chance to be in a classroom, for a chance to play in a playground, for a chance to really dream about a future of maybe even being in Congress one day.”
Speaking at a Netroots Nation conference in July 2019, Omar claimed that neither the Trump administration nor many Americans in general understood why so many migrants were coming to the U.S. illegally — i.e., “to make their children’s lives better and … their own lives better.” “And instead of us saying here is ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C,’ we’re saying there is zero option,” she continued. “And if you [migrants] ever think that you have a chance, we’re going to treat you worse than a dog. One of our [Congressional] members said to me, if there were dogs [instead of migrant children] in those cages, every single member of Congress would vote to make sure that all of these cages didn’t exist any more. So we live in a society and govern in a body that might value the life of a dog more than they value the life of a child who might not look like theirs.”
In April 2019, the lifelong Marxist revolutionary Angela Davis organized a rally in support of Omar. During the course of the event, Omar said of Davis: “One of my idols!…I can’t tell you how enormously inspiring you have been to me throughout my life… We collectively must make sure that we are dismantling all systems of oppression…. we’re the party of love, the party of compassion.” Other participants in the rally included Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley.
During a May 2019 appearance on the Democracy Now! Radio program, Omar claimed that America’s “bullying and use of sanctions to eventually intervene and make regime change” in Venezuela had contributed significantly to that nation’s rapidly deteriorating political and economic conditions. Soon thereafter, Vice President Mike Pence – noting that Venezuelan president “Nicolas Maduro is a socialist dictator who has taken what was once one of the most prosperous nations in this hemisphere and brought it literally to a level of deprivation and oppression and poverty that we have never seen” — told Fox News anchor Sandra Smith that Venezuela’s decline “is not a result of U.S. policies,” and that Omar “doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” In response, Omar tweeted: “Women of color have heard this before. Instead of ‘we disagree,’ it’s ‘she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.’ They have to make us feel small. This from an Administration that thinks climate change is a Chinese hoax.”
On May 25, 2019, Omar spoke at a sold-out CAIR fundraiser in Bellevue, Washington.
After a self-identified Antifa activist attempted to carry out a terror attack against an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in Tacoma, Washington on July 13, 2019, a reporter from Rebel Media asked Omar, who had repeatedly characterized ICE’s treatment of migrants as brutal: “Will you condemn the Antifa attack in Washington over the weekend? It’s easy to condemn terrorism. Will you condemn it?” When Omar ignored the question, the reporter continued: “Antifa firebombed a facility in Tacoma over the weekend — it’s an ICE facility — will you condemn them for that?” Again Omar remained silent.
In late July 2019, Omar retweeted a Twitter post in which actor Tom Arnold had written approvingly about a violent physical assault that a neighbor of Republican Senator Rand Paul had committed against Paul while the latter was mowing his own lawn in late 2017. Arnold’s tweet said: “Imagine being Rand Paul’s next door neighbor and having to deal with @RandPaul lying cowardly circular whiney bullcrap about lawn clippings. No wonder he ripped his toupee off.” A few days before Arnold posted that tweet, Senator Paul had voiced agreement with President Trump’s recent assertion that Omar and some of her far-left Democrat allies should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” rather than repeatedly criticize America.
During an appearance on a BET News town hall in September 2019, Omar revealed that a major reason why she had originally decided to run for Congress was to push for the passage of legislation that would forgive her own student debt, which, according to Congressional filings, was somewhere between $15,000 and $50,000. Indeed, in June 2019 Omar had introduced the Student Debt Cancellation Act (SDCA), legislation designed to cancel some $1.6 trillion in debt from student loans — both federal and private — and pay it off by adding “a small financial transaction to speculators on Wall Street.” Among Omar’s remarks at the town hall were the following:
As the Daily Wire noted in September 2019: “[E]ven though [Omar’s] wages rose to $174,000 after she was elected to Congress, she has still not paid off the debt…. [S]he has reportedly moved into a luxury penthouse apartment in one of Minneapolis’ trendiest districts since her paycheck increased…. Her apartment is reported to cost more than $2,800 per month and the three-bedroom unit includes a ‘movable granite island, built-in wine rack and stainless steel pot racks in its high-end kitchen’.”
After President Trump had ordered and carried out the targeted killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3, 2020, Omar said during a press conference a few days later: “I feel ill a little bit because of everything that is taking place. And I think every time I hear of conversations around war, I find myself being stricken with PTSD” — presumably a reference to her family’s flight from the Somali Civil War in 1991. “I find peace knowing that I serve with great advocates for peace and people who have shown courage against war,” she added. But while Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee discussed U.S. casualties in the Iraq War during that same press conference, Omar — who was standing directly behind Jackson Lee — could be seen giggling extensively and carrying on a light-hearted conversation with colleague Rashida Tlaib.
One of Omar’s legislative assistants at the time of Soleiman’s killing, Mahyar Sorour, had mounted an unsuccessful run in 2019 for a board seat with NIAC Action, the 501(c)4 sister organization of the National Iranian American Council.
In February 2020, Omar tweeted a series of identity markers by which she described herself, but she failed to mention that she was an “American.” She wrote:
Easily triggering conservatives, Right wing bloggers, anti Muslim bigots, tinfoil conspiracy theorists, birthers, pay me a [$] to bash Muslims fraudsters, pro-occupation groups and every single xenophobe since 2016.
In the aftermath of the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd — a black man who had died after being abused by a white police officer in Minneapolis — a number of U.S. cities were overrun by violent riots. The chaos also sparked a movement that called for the defunding and dismantling of police departments in cities nationwide. Omar was in full support of this movement, and she said at a June 6th anti-police rally in Minneapolis:
“Well, we’ve had a black president, we’ve had a Congressional Black Caucus, we’ve had black mayors, we’ve had black governors, and we’ve had black city councilmembers, we’ve had black police chiefs, yet we are still getting killed, brutalized, surveilled, mass incarcerated, and we are still having conversations with our children on how to have a conversation with the people that are supposed to protect and serve them so that those people don’t in return kill them. I am with you, I am tired. We need to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Because here’s the thing, there’s a cancer. The Minneapolis Police Department is rotten to the root, and so when we dismantle it, we get rid of that cancer, and we allow for something beautiful to rise, and that reimagining allows us to figure out what public safety looks like for us.”
On July 7, 2020, Omar condemned alleged inequities in the U.S. criminal-justice system and called for the “dismantling” of America’s economy and political system: “As long as our economy and political systems prioritize profit without considering who is profiting, who is being shut out, we will perpetuate this inequality. We cannot stop at criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it.”
Omar has long been a harsh critic of Israel. On November 16, 2012 – just a few days after Gaza-based Hamas terrorists had launched more than 150 deadly rockets into the Jewish state, prompting an Israeli military response – she tweeted that “the apartheid Israeli regime” had “hypnotized the world” in order to conceal its own “evil doings.”
In a 2013 interview on the Twin Cities PBS show Belahdan, Omar mocked Americans for the anxiety they felt about Islamic terrorists: “When I was in college, I took a terrorism class…. The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up.” She then chuckled as she imitated the professor saying “Al Qaeda” and “Hezbollah.” “But you know,” added Omar, “it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with an intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with an intensity. But you say these names [Al Qaeda and Hezbollah] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to leave something…. It’s said with a deeper voice.” (See video)
During her tenure with the Minneapolis City Council from 2013-15, Omar acknowledged that she was a friend of several young men who had joined al-Shabab, a Somali jihadist terror group allied with al-Qaeda, several years earlier. “They were happy young men,” said Omar. “And then at some point, something happened. And that is what needs to be researched and studied. What is happening to make them feel disconnected from a community that has birthed them, that has nurtured them?”
Over the years, Omar has given multiple interviews to the Arab-American television host Ahmed Tharwat, who: (a) characterizes Israel as the “Jewish ISIS,” and (b) has compared members of Hamas to victims of the Holocaust. In the wake of a 2013 Islamic terrorist bombing that killed nearly 70 people in a Kenyan shopping mall, Omar and Tharwat discussed how news of that attack may have affected the way Americans were treating Muslims in the United States. When Tharwat asserted that “terrorism is a reaction” to injustices inflicted by the U.S. and other antagonists, Omar agreed: “Yes…. Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts. Usually most people want to not look internal and see what their actions that makes another react. For us [Americans], it’s always ‘I must have not done anything. Why is it happening to me?’ Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”
A few days after her election to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November 2016, Omar wrote a letter asking a Minneapolis judge to be lenient in sentencing nine young Somali-born men who had been found guilty of attempting to join the terrorist group ISIS. In her letter, Omar maintained that long prison terms would ultimately lead to the tragedy of unproductive lives and unrealized potential for the perpetrators. “The desire to commit violence is not inherent to people,” she explained. “It is the consequence for [sic] alienation.”
In 2016 as well, Omar stated that she was in favor of completely divesting the University of Minnesota of its Israel bonds. The following year, she opposed a bill designed to counter economic boycotts targeting the Jewish state. While making her case against the 2017 legislation, Omar likened Israel to apartheid South Africa and said: “I know a little bit about discrimination. I face it every single day. I carry multiple identities that are constantly, constantly being discriminated against.” Indeed, Omar describes herself as an “intersectional feminist.” Intersectionality is the notion that the hardships experienced by people who are members of multiple groups that allegedly suffer societal injustices – e.g., blacks, Hispanics, women, LGBT people, Muslims, and the poor – greatly compound one another.
In 2017, Omar was one of only two Minnesota House members (out of 129) to vote against a bill to allow life-insurance companies to deny payouts to the beneficiaries of people who died while committing acts of terrorism.
That same year, she was one of just four House members to oppose legislation that would make it a felony for parents to subject their daughters to female genital mutilation, a common practice in some Muslim cultures.
During a Democratic primary debate which was held at a Minnesota synagogue in August 2018, Omar was asked to specify “exactly where you stand” on the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions (BDS) movement, a Hamas-inspired initiative aimed at financially crippling the state of Israel. Her reply made it clear that she viewed BDS as a counterproductive policy: “I believe right now with the BDS movement, it’s not helpful in getting that two-state solution. I think the particular purpose for [BDS] is to make sure that there is pressure, and I think that pressure really is counteractive. Because in order for us to have a process of getting to a two-state solution, people have to be willing to come to the table and have a conversation about how that is going to be possible and I think that stops the dialogue.”
Just five days after winning her congressional race on November 6, 2018, the publication Muslim Girl reported that Omar “believes in and supports the BDS movement.” When Lonny Goldsmith, the editor of the local Jewish news organization TC Jewfolk, asked Omar about the apparent discrepancy between her pre- and post-election stances, Omar replied in a text message: “My position has always been the same. I believe and supports (sic) the BDS movement, and have fought to make sure people right to support it isn’t criminalized, re: my vote against the  Anti-BDS bill. I do however, have reservations on effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution. Which is what I believe I said at the forum.”
In a January 30, 2019 interview with Yahoo News, Omar said that America could help to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “by having an equal approach to dealing with both.” “[But] most of the things that have always been aggravating to me,” she added, “is that we have had a policy that makes one [Israel] superior to the other.” “And we still uphold it as a democracy in the Middle East, I almost chuckle because I know that if we see that any other society we would criticize it, call it out,” Omar continued. “We do that to Iran, we do that to any other place that sort of upholds its religion. And I see that now happening with Saudi Arabia and so I am aggravated, truly, in those contradictions.”
On January 31, 2019, Omar endorsed a series of tweets wherein liberal activist Max Berger made the following remarks about Israel: “The American Jewish establishment claims Israel is a democracy for all its citizens. But the nation state law classifies 1.6 million Palestinian Israelis as second class. And 4.7 million people live under Israeli military occupation or control without political or human rights…. Israel is like the south before 1963: millions of people under Israeli control are denied the right to vote, speak freely or assemble because of their ethnicity. It’s a democracy for Jews only. That’s not a real democracy.” In endorsing Berger’s assertions, Omar tweeted: “Many of them truly know this, but don’t want to accept it. In the same way many Americans knew separate yet equal was immoral but remained silent until brave few were silent no more. They can attack, spin my words and vilify me, but they will not succeed in silencing me.”
On February 10, 2019, Omar tweeted her opinion that the pro-Israel lobby organization AIPAC — an American entity that receives much funding from American Jews but no funding from the state of Israel — was guilty of paying U.S. politicians to take positions favorable to Israel. “It’s all about the Benjamins [$100 bills], baby,” she wrote in a separate tweet quoting a 1997 rap song by Puff Daddy.
In February 2019 as well, Omar was scheduled to speak at a Tampa, Florida event sponsored by Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), the American branch of an international organization that has been designated as a terror financier by the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Israel. According to the Washington Examiner: “Russian authorities, the Swiss bank UBS, the British bank HSBC, and reports by governmental entities in Germany and Sweden all have determined that Islamic Relief has supported radical Islamist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood.” One of the other scheduled speakers at the event was IRUSA’s “operations manager,” Yousef Abdallah, who has repeatedly used his social media accounts to denounce Jews and to laud acts of violence against them.
On March 7, 2019, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke praised Omar for her repeated expressions of disdain for Israel and the Jewish people. “By Defiance to Z.O.G. [Zionist Occupation Government]” he tweeted, “Ilhan Omar is NOW the most important Member of the US Congress!”
In March 2019 in Los Angeles, Omar was the keynote speaker at a Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) benefit event titled “Advancing Justice, Empowering Valley Muslims.” Sharing the stage with Omar was CAIR-Florida executive director Hassan Shibly, who rejects the notion that Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations. At the same event, Omar said: “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people [the 9/11 terrorists] did something, and that all of us [Muslim civilians] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.” (In fact, CAIR was founded in 1994, not 2001.)
In April 2019, Omar called for the release of Hoda Abdelmonem (a.k.a. Hoda Abdel Moneim and Hoda Abdelmoneim), a senior Muslim Brotherhood member who had been detained in Egypt since November 2018 as part of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s crackdown on the Brotherhood’s activities in his nation.
In July 2019, Omar introduced a House Resolution supporting the BDS movement and comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany. Co-sponsored by fellow Democrats Rashida Tlaib and John Lewis, the resolution called on House members to oppose “unconstitutional legislative efforts to limit the use of boycotts to further civil rights at home and abroad,” a reference to resolutions that had been passed in several states to prohibit the granting of government contracts to companies that backed BDS. “We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our first amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” said Omar. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
During a panel event in late July 2019, Ani Zonneveld, president of Muslims for Progressive Values, asked Omar to make a statement against the female genital mutilation (FGM) that was practiced in her native Somalia and a number of other Islamic countries. Omar replied: “Your … question is an appalling question because there are bills that we vote on, bills we sponsor, many statements we put out, and then we’re in a panel like this and the question is posed: ‘Could you and Rashida [Tlaib] do this?’ And it’s like, how often — should I make a schedule? Does this need to be on repeat every five minutes? Should I be like, ‘So today I forgot to condemn al-Qaeda, so here’s the al-Qaeda one, today I forgot to condemn FGM, so here it goes, today I forgot to condemn Hamas, so here it goes, you know what I mean?”
In August 2019, Omar and fellow congresswoman Rashida Tlaib shunned a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel and announced that they would instead schedule an independent trip – sponsored by the notoriously anti-Israel nongovernmental organization Miftah – to the Jewish state. But Israel’s government – in accordance with an Israeli law barring the issuance of visas to any foreigners who, like Omar and Tlaib, advocate boycotts targeting Israel – stated that the two congresswomen would not be permitted to enter the country. Omar described Israel’s move as “an insult to democratic values and a chilling response to a visit by government officials from an allied nation.”
In late August 2019, Omar was outraged when Kenyan forces in the Somali city of Gedo destroyed equipment belonging to Hormuud Telecommunications, a Somali company founded and headed by Ahmed Nur Ali Jim’ale, a chief financier of al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda’s terror affiliate in Somalia. “Somali government and peacekeeping forces, need to protect @Hormuud and the Somali telecom industry as they make enormous contribution to the economy and provide vital services,” tweeted the congresswoman. In 2018, Hormuud employees had been prosecuted for their role in facilitating a 2017 terror attack that killed 582 people, the deadliest in Somalia’s history.
On September 1, 2020, Omar was angered when MSNBC host Joy Reid likened the behavior of President Trump and his supporters to radical Muslims by saying: “When leaders, let’s say in the Muslim world, talk a lot of violent talk and encourage their supporters to be willing to commit violence including on their own bodies in order to win against whoever they decide is the enemy, we in the U.S. media describe that as they are ‘radicalizing’ these people, particularly when they’re radicalizing young people. That’s how we talk about the way Muslims act. When you see what Donald Trump is doing, is that any different from what we describe as radicalizing people?”
In late September 2020, the undercover news organization Project Veritas used hidden-camera videos to expose a ballot-harvesting racket in Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis congressional district. The scheme involved paid workers who were illegally gathering absentee ballots from elderly Somali immigrants.
A key informant for the Project Veritas videos was a man named Omar Jamal, the chairman of Minneapolis’s Somali Watchdog Group. An opponent of what he called “ongoing election fraud” in his community, Jamal had worked with Minnesota’s Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office on the promotion of deradicalization education.
One ballot harvester to whom Jamal spoke, on hidden camera, was Liban Mohamed, the older brother of Jamal Osman, the latter of whom was a Somali-American member of the Minneapolis City Council and an affiliate of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, Minnesota’s version of the Democratic Party. The Project Veritas video showed Mohamed in a Snapchat video rifling through piles of ballots that were scattered across the dashboard of his car. Said Mohamed in the video: “Just today we got 300 for Jamal Osman. I have 300 ballots in my car right now…. Numbers don’t lie. You can see my car is full. All these here are absentee ballots…. Look, all these are for Jamal Osman…. Money is the king in this world … and a campaign is driven by money.” Mohamed’s ballot-harvesting activities were illegal under Minnesota law, which stipulates that no individual can be the “designated agent” for any more than three absentee voters.
Another video segment from Mohamed’s Snapchat account – with the time stamp “1:59 a.m. July 2,” showed a man brandishing a wad of approximately 30 envelopes bearing the words “OFFICIAL ABSENTEE BALLOT” on their fronts. “Two in the morning, still hustling,” the man said.
In an interview with Project Veritas, Jamal alleged that Rep. Ilhan Omar was fully aware of, and knowingly involved in, the ballot-harvesting scheme. Claiming that Mohamed was “one of” Omar’s “many people,” Jamal said: “It’s an open secret. She [Ilhan Omar] will do anything that she can do to get elected and she has hundreds of people on the streets doing that. It’s not only her. It’s all this DFL machine [that’s] in … the state of Minnesota…. The regulations, if you ignore that and you let corruption and fraud become a daily business and then tough luck, the country will not exist as they [Americans] know it.”
A second informant – an anonymous, Minneapolis-based woman who formerly served as a political worker – told Project Veritas that, prior to Minnesota’s primary elections on August 8, ballot harvesters “took every single ballot” from elderly people in a Minneapolis public housing complex, the Charles Horn Towers. Said the informant: “Knock on the door and say, ‘Your ballots come? Give it to me.’ ”
The informant further alleged that Ali Isse Gainey, who was Ilhan Omar’s long-serving staffer and the deputy district director of her campaign, was “coordinating everything.” “They bring them,” said the informant. “They line them. They put the open ballots in there and then they take them in and say, ‘Here,’ and the people mark [the ballots]…. They have perfected this system. They will tell you, ‘We are applying for your ballot.’ They take a picture of your Social Security and your driver’s license. They have a database. When the ballot comes, they track it. Sometimes, they make fake emails. They track the ballot. Then they come and pick up the ballot, unopened…. They don’t give a shit about any Somali…. The DFL wants to win this state at all costs … and the victims is the Somali people.” The informant further claimed that young people and women – in violation of federal law – had been paid for their ballots before the Minnesota primary in August of 2020. “Cash, cash, cash. They were carrying bags of money,” said the informant. “… When you vote and they mark you off, then you get in the van, they give you the cash.”
In a phone call that was also played in the Project Veritas video, Mohamed explained the process of ballot harvesting: “You request for the ballot. It will be sent to your house. You will fill it out and then send it.” Jamal then asked, “So they request for the elderly?” And Mohamed replied: “Yes, they request for them.” “And it is taken away from them?” asked Jamal. “Yes, it is taken away from them,” Mohamed answered.
In a second Project Veritas video that was released a few days later, Jamal stated unequivocally that Ilhan Omar was directly complicit in the ballot-harvesting scheme. “Nobody would say that Ilhan Omar isn’t part of this,” said Jamal in a recorded interview. “Unless you’re from a different planet, but if you live in this universe, I think everybody knows it.”
This second video also exposed yet another illegal operation – likewise overseen by Ali Isse Gainey. Specifically, the video revealed that: (a) Ilhan Omar’s operatives would routinely go into the voting booths with the voters and fill out their ballots for them, and (b) they were able to get away with this because the people managing the polling places were complicit in the fraud. A Minneapolis ballot harvester was shown describing, on hidden camera, how the scam worked: “They [poll workers] help us at the voting booth. They [the authorities] allow them [the poll workers] to help us. They go inside with us and help us, and they actually do that inside there…. They actually are the ones who vote, people don’t usually — they do the voting.”
According to the American Thinker: “Some of the money that [Ilhan] Omar has paid for votes has found its way to Al-Shabaab, a Mogadishu-based affiliate of al-Qaeda…. [A]t least one of the [ballot] harvesters is using the money to set up businesses back in Somalia — and in Somalia, you need to pay protection money to Al-Shabaab.”
And very notably, Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison had done nothing to investigate or thwart such illicit practices.
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