Questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s odd marriage history have been circulating for quite a while now. Today, the Daily Mail reports that a blogger named Abdihakim Osman has come forward to confirm the most explosive allegation about Omar, i.e. that her second husband Ahmed Elmi was in fact her brother:
Abdihakim Osman is the first person to go on record to speak of how Omar said she wanted to get her brother papers so he could stay in the United States, at a time when she was married to her first husband Ahmed Hirsi…
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.
Osman knew Ilhan Omar and her first husband Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi who had married in a religious ceremony in 2002. Years later, Osman said a man named Elmi began hanging around with the couple, starting in the late 2000s. Both Omar and Hirsi identified him as Omar’s brother:
‘He was very feminine in the way he dressed — he would wear light lipstick and pink clothes and very, very, short shorts in the summer. People started whispering about him.
‘[Hirsi] and Ilhan both told me it was Ilhan’s brother and he had been living in London but he was mixing with what were seen as bad influences that the family did not like.
‘So they sent him to Minneapolis as ”rehab”.’
It sounds to me like Osman is suggesting there’s some sort of gay subplot to this story. In any case, he claims that when Omar married him in 2009 (in a legal ceremony as opposed to her religious marriage to Hirsi) no one in the community knew about it. In fact, the person who married Omar and Elmi is a Christian minister. Why would Omar choose to be married by a Christian? Osman suggests this was an attempt to get outside the Somali Muslim community and find someone who wouldn’t already know the two were related.
‘She 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.
‘Once she had the papers they could apply for student loans.
Omar and Elmi both moved to Fargo and attended North Dakota State University. Omar would eventually divorce Elmi in 2017 and marry Hirsi in a civil ceremony. But Osman says he doesn’t believe Omar and Hirsi were ever really apart. Omar did eventually divorce Hirsi in 2019.
Omar’s office refused to give a statement on the Daily Mail’s story saying she does not comment on her personal life.
Last month we learned that reporter David Steinberg had turned over previously unreported information on Omar’s marriage to the FBI and the FBI was said to be looking into it. No doubt the FBI will be eager to talk to Abdihakim Osman about his recollections of what Omar told him about Elmi.
Update: Ilhan Omar responds…sort of. She’s shaming Meghan McCain for sharing the story on Twitter.
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.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 20, 2020