With the DFL primary election fast approaching, state Rep. Ilhan Omar has emerged as a frontrunner in the race to replace Rep. Keith Ellison.
Despite serving only one term in the Minnesota House, Omar’s story as the first female Somali legislator has made her an overnight sensation. While media outlets and political pundits celebrate her rise to fame, Omar’s personal history is tainted with a possible fraudulent marriage in attempt to cheat the immigration system.
With Omar on the verge of becoming a national representative for Minnesota’s largest city and its surrounding suburbs, the questions surrounding her marital history are pressing.
Alpha News first reported on the questions surrounding Omar’s marriages in August 2016 after Omar unseated Phyllis Kahn, a 44-year incumbent, in the DFL primary election. Powerline Blog writer Scott Johnson indicated Omar may have engaged in marriage fraud, leading former Alpha News reporter Preya Samsundar to dig into Omar’s personal history.
Extensive research has revealed Omar may have married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in order to aid Elmi in obtaining citizenship. Elmi’s name follows the Somali custom of being named after his father, which is the same name as her father. While being legally married to Elmi, Omar has publicly identified Ahmed Hirsi as her cultural husband and father of her children.
When these revelations came to light, Omar dismissed the claims that she married her brother, maintaining the marriage was simply a difficult time in her private life. In August 2016 Omar released a statement saying, “I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so.” Several months later, Omar filed for divorce from Elmi in May of 2017, and research indicates he now resides in London.
The controversy continues in the statements Omar made in the divorce documents. Omar tells the court that Elmi left the country in 2011 to go back to London. This corresponds with her statements that she and Elmi terminated their relationship so she could resume her relationship with Hirsi. She also claims in court documents that she hasn’t spoken or seen her estranged husband since June 2011. However, Alpha News obtained documentation via social media that shows these statements to be false.
According to social media posts, the timeline of contact between Omar and Elmi extended multiple years beyond 2011. Screenshots from social media indicate Elmi lived in Minneapolis until August 2012, when he moved back to London. Alpha News also reported that Elmi and Omar attended NDSU at the same time.
Instagram posts show Omar and Elmi communicating via social media until October 2013. Adding to the belief that Elmi is indeed Omar’s brother, the social media posts include comments in which Elmi refers to Omar’s two girls as his nieces, and Omar says he is the “best uncle.”
Omar also made a trip to London in 2014, where Elmi was then residing. Photos from Instagram that have since been deleted showed Omar and Elmi together.
Given the trail of contact on social media, it appears Omar committed perjury by lying in the divorce documents about her last known contact with Elmi.
If Omar did indeed marry her brother for immigration purposes, and did it while she was married to another man, she broke the law in Minnesota. Despite the potential illegality of the situation, there has been no investigations into the matter.
Following Alpha News original coverage of Omar’s marriage controversy, Fox 9 reported that Omar’s immigration status was being looked into by U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger. The Omar camp provided a letter from Luger denouncing the report, saying his “office is neither investigating any allegations nor have they requested anyone else to do so.”
Years later, despite now seeking a seat in Congress, Omar continues to avoid addressing the discrepancies in her marriages. Alpha News has reached out to Omar’s office in the past with no response.