Sources told me some six weeks ago that Ilhan Omar had essentially abandoned her family in Minneapolis and wanted her current legal husband — husband number 1, Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her children — to seek a divorce from her. I understood that Omar doesn’t want to be seen by the local Somali community as seeking a divorce, either under Islamic custom or American law. Getting into Omar’s personal life is not my thing, so I left the story alone.
The Daily Mail recently broke the story in Martin Gould’s report datelined Minneapolis: “EXCLUSIVE: Ilhan Omar SPLITS with her husband and moves into luxury penthouse as she heads for SECOND divorce with father of her three children.” The Daily Mail story was lavishly illustrated with local photographs. I wrote about the Daily Mail story in “Just married…and divorced.”
The Daily Mail followed up with video of Omar together with what it called Omar’s “mystery man.” I noted here that my sources had informed me he is a fundraiser for Omar. Today the Daily Mail identifies him as Tim Mynett and supplies additional information on him. Both Omar and Mynett are married to others, but my sources tell me that Omar’s husband has divorced Omar in their “faith tradition,” as Omar likes to put it. The rest of the story, however, does not seem to square with Omar’s faith tradition.
The Daily Mail continues to assert as a fact that Omar was divorced from Ahmed Hirsi under Islamic practice in 2008 and is therefore headed for a second divorce from him now. I highly doubt the allegation that this is the second time around for them. The notion of a prior divorce derives solely from the statement crafted for Omar by third-parties to serve Omar’s public relations needs. It should not be taken at face value. Apart from Omar’s say-so, there is no reason to believe that Omar and Hirsi divorced under Islamic custom before Omar entered into a sham marriage with Ahmed Elmi in 2009. Omar, of course, refuses to talk about her curious case.
We know that social media evidence suggests Elmi is Omar’s brother, although we don’t know that yet for a fact. We do know that Omar and Hirsi filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015 even though Omar and Hirsi weren’t legally married and Elmi was still legally married to Omar. (Omar won’t talk about that either.) Omar didn’t get around to divorcing Elmi until 2017 or marrying Hirsi under Minnesota law until last year, when Omar was obviously tying up the loose ends of her personal life for political purposes.
The Daily Mail has three reporters on its current pursuit of the tabloid news in the Omar saga. The Daily Mail strongly implies that Omar is in a relationship with the now identified mystery man, although it does not expressly so state. The headline asks: “Is Ilhan Omar carrying on an affair with this Dem strategist?” My own reporting — reporting that predates the Daily Mail stories — confirms that this is a rhetorical question, as it is obviously meant to be.
It is unfortunate that the Daily Mail has so far concentrated on the tabloid news in the Omar saga. If only the Daily Mail would assign its reporters to the related issues of marriage fraud, immigration fraud, and tax fraud implicit in the story, they might finally crack it open.
On a local note, I want only to add that all of this will come as a shock to readers who get their news from the Star Tribune. I wonder how the paper will cushion the blow when it breaks the news to its readers.