Report prompts heightened scrutiny over Ilhan Omar’s marital history

July 19, 2019

Allegations of marital and immigration fraud have dogged Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for years — especially after a Minnesota campaign finance report revealed in June that she filed taxes jointly with her second husband while she was married to another man. Now, new evidence has left some convinced that the freshman congresswoman was once married to her brother.

An investigative report published Thursday by the Powerline blog lays out fresh evidence supporting the theory that Omar married her biological sibling in 2009 and, as a child, may have received asylum under a false name.

The report’s author is David Steinberg — who did much of the original research on the Omar marriage fraud story, Breitbart reports — along with Scott Johnson of Powerline and Preya Samsnudar, a reporter for Alpha News.

Marriage mishaps?

Steinberg’s article makes a shocking claim: Ilhan Omar’s last name is not really Omar. Steinberg alleges that Omar is one of five siblings in the Elmi family from Somalia, and says that her real name is Ilhan Nur Said Elmi.

According to Steinberg, the now-congresswoman fled Somalia in the 1990s and was granted asylum in America in 1995, when she was 12. One of her siblings also received asylum in the United States, while three received asylum in the United Kingdom, Steinberg writes — including the alleged brother whom she later married.

Citing sources from the Minneapolis Somali community, Steinberg alleges that Ilhan was allowed to use a false name by a separate family, the Omar family, in her effort to receive asylum in America.

He went on:

The Omar family is a second, unrelated family which was being granted asylum by the United States. The Omars allowed Ilhan, her genetic sister Sahra, and her genetic father Nur Said to use false names to apply for asylum as members of the Omar family.

The “missing link,” Steinberg alleges, is Ilhan’s alleged sister, Leila Nur Said Elmi. According to a marriage certificate that Steinberg obtained from Britain, Leila Elmi identified Nur Said Elmi as her father. But Steinberg cited now-deleted social media posts that allegedly show the congresswoman and her sister, Sahra Noor — the only sibling Ilhan has confirmed — have both called Nur Said their father.

Other social media posts reportedly show Ilhan and Leila together with their alleged father.

Besides Leila, the only other Elmis in Britain were Mohamed Elmi and Ahmed Elmi, who was living in the same neighborhood as Leila, Steinberg reports. Steinberg further claims that Ahmed and Ilhan — who visited Britain in 2015 — both referred to Leila’s twin girls as their “nieces” in separate social media posts.

Deleted evidence?

In 2009, Omar married a man named Ahmed Elmi, who she identified only as a “British citizen.” The two separated in 2011, but didn’t legally divorce until 2017. For her part, Omar has claimed that she had no contact with Elmi since their separation in 2011, after which he moved back to London.

But social media posts, many of them now deleted, show Omar with Elmi, the Daily Mail reports; in one photo, she is allegedly pictured with Elmi and her first husband, Ahmed Hirsi, who Omar says she initially married in 2002 in a religious, but not legal, ceremony. The two split, in the Islamic tradition, in 2008 — that is, according to Omar.

Last month, Minnesota campaign finance officials revealed that Omar filed taxes jointly with Hirsi in 2014 and 2015, while she was still married to Elmi. She legally married Hirsi for the first time in 2018, after her divorce from Elmi.

Omar’s complicated marital history has, in the eyes of critics, helped validate the marital fraud theory. Indeed, conservative journalists have claimed that Omar married Elmi to help him get a U.S. visa.

Buttressing the theory, public records have shown that Omar was living with Hirsi while she was legally married to Elmi from 2009 to 2011, and both attended North Dakota State University during the same time period.

For her part, Omar has denied that Elmi is her brother and called the allegations of marital fraud “disgusting lies.” But Omar has only invited further questions by refusing to provide answers and deleting the social media posts linking her with Elmi. A little strange, no?

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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.