The stone wall put up by the Ilhan Omar campaign doesn’t reach across the pond.
As if things could not get any stranger in the Ilhan Omar marriage controversy, Alpha News has received several e-mails from Ahmed Nur Said Elmi
Omar, in a carefully crafted statement, has said that she is married culturally to Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children who appears in her campaign literature. She said that she and Hirsi briefly separated and she then married a man from the UK named Ahmed Nur Said Elmi.
If Ilhan did marry her brother in 2009, there are a litany of legal implications for the DFL candidate for MN House District 60B.
Ahmed Elmi the Bison
Alpha News found Ahmed Nur Said Elmi’s e-mail address on a resume posting website called “branded.me”. Not only did the picture used on the resume look like other known pictures of Elmi, he also listed that he attended North Dakota State University, where he studied Fine Arts. In previous stories, Alpha News discovered that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi attended NDSU after he married Omar in 2009.
While there are several Ahmed Elmi’s in the world, it appears only one went to NDSU.
Elmi’s Email Response
Alpha News e-mailed the address listed on the account last week and asked Elmi about his relationship to Ilhan Omar. Elmi responded that he is “not entirely sure I’m aware of what’s going on, but there seems to have been a mistake made.”
Elmi then confirmed that the photographs that are in the Alpha News articles are definitely of him, and says that: “no way am I affiliated with anyone in your articles. Nor do I recall being married to anyone. At least, from what I remember.”
Elmi tells Alpha News that all of his siblings, parents, and relatives reside in the United Kingdom.
He then lectured Alpha News on the laws and rules of journalism and posting photographs of “private individuals” in the United Kingdom. He questions why Alpha News has a screenshot of his LinkedIn profile and an image of him at an event that was “found on Google.” He then attempts to accuse Alpha News of racism by saying “Now granted, those of us with Somali heritage might all look the same to the naked eye.”
He then closes out the e-mail stating that he is not quite sure what is “going on here” and that he wants no part of it. He requested that Alpha News take down his image from our site and wishes Alpha News luck in “finding what you are looking for.”
Fishing for Answers
Alpha News then wrote back to Elmi along with 2 photos asking him: “Are you saying that the man pictured in the top photo is not the same man pictured in the one beneath? And you also happen both to be named Ahmed Elmi?” Alpha News also questioned Elmi on attending North Dakota State University. “We’ve noticed that you seem to have removed North Dakota State University from your LinkedIn profile that you included in your signature? If you could please explain, we would be happy to discuss removing the image from our site.”
Elmi’s response to this e-mail was even stranger. He confirmed that the photographs that Alpha News sent to him are of him. In one of the photos, Elmi is pictured with Ilhan Omar. He says, “Yes – both photographs are of me. And they are both taken at various events that I go to from time to time. I can’t even begin to recall who those people are, to be honest. I’m sure we were introduced, but I wasn’t even aware that the picture existed.”
Elmi then volunteers information about his time at NDSU. He tells Alpha News, “I went to NDSU in the spring of 2005 for a study abroad program (coldest spring ever).” In a follow-up e-mail, Alpha News asked Elmi to give us his birth date and he replied “19th of May 1985 (proud Taurus)”. Alpha News checked with NDSU’s Office of Records and Registration and the university confirmed that there was no one by the name of “Ahmed Nur Said Elmi” that attended the school in spring of 2005 with that birthdate. Alpha News also confirmed with NDSU that once accepted to the school as either a foreign or domestic student, they automatically become a part of the school’s attendance records.
On the marriage license of Ahmed Nur Said Elmi and Ilhan Omar, the birthday listed for Elmi is April 4, 1985.
Alpha News continued to try and eliminate him as Omar’s legal husband by asking a series of questions and explained that we were running out of options.
An exasperated Elmi wrote back that he “can’t stress enough how bizarre it feels to answer these questions.”
Confirmation of Key Photo
In the e-mail above, Elmi did confirm that the photo of the girls in uniform that was featured in Alpha News’ August 22nd article, are from his Instagram and are “family members”. He refers to the girls in the photo as “#nieces”. Most importantly is that Ilhan Omar, whose Instagram name is @hameey “liked” the photo. The photo is dated May 4, 2013.
New Instagram Photos
To add more fuel to the fire, Alpha News received new photographs from an unnamed source in the Somali community who forwarded photos from the Instagram account of Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. The photos, dated 2012, are of Elmi with Ilhan Omar’s then-newborn daughter Ilwad with the caption of “Nieces, fresh out of the [female anatomy]” and another photo of Omar’s father, Nur Said Elmi Mohamed, with the caption underneath the photo, reading “The father of…!The father of…!” Omar’s youngest daughter was born in 2012.
Alpha News has heard from more than one source inside the close-knit Somali community that Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Nur Said Elmi are indeed brother and sister. Some confirmed to us that the man in the Alpha News photos is Elmi and that they were introduced to him as Ilhan’s brother.
Andy Luger and the U.S. Attorney’s Department in a letter to Omar’s attorney, Jean Brandl, already said that they will not investigate further into this matter. “There is no truth to this report and my office is not investigating, nor have we requested an investigation into Ms. Omar,” reads the letter from Luger.
Alpha News sent a final email to Elmi explaining that we trusted our sources and that unless he can produce documentation of another Ahmed Elmi who attended NDSU we will continue using his picture.
Time will tell whether the controversy will affect Omar’s candidacy.