Ilhan Omar: A flashback

I met with an investigative reporter yesterday to discuss my work on the case of Ilhan Omar. He asked me to dig out the email that alerted me to the SomaliSpot post by “Abdi Johnson” (no relation!) and prompted my inquiry to the Omar campaign on the morning of August 12, 2016. When I received the abusive nonresponse from criminal defense attorney Jean Brandl that afternoon, we were off and running. Going back through our Power Line email account I found this message from a reader. I failed to follow up with this reader at the time, but the information provided comports with that provided by others and I believe this reader proved reliable as a source for Preya Samsundar. I find the message of interest as the mainstream media continues to avert its eyes:

From: [Name and email address omitted]
Date: Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 8:27 PM
Subject: Ilhan Omar: more information
To:

Hi,

I am a member of the Somali community in Minneapolis and would like to remain anonymous as this story has divided the community and resulted in threats of violence for exposing a leading community figure’s secrets. I want to point out that Ilhan Omar and the father of her children have been together since 2002. As the first screen shot in your article “Ilhan Omar: Her back pages” shows, Ahmed Abdisalan Aden is Ahmed Hirsi ( the father of her children). The two have been married Islamically (or culturally as Fox [i.e., KMSP 9, the local FOX affiliate] put it) since 2002 and at no time were they separated. The claim by Omar’s campaign that they have ever been separated is nothing more than spin. In the eyes of my community, Ahmed Hirsi is and always has been her husband. She has never had a second or third husband.

I have attached a photo of the two before their marriage [screenshot below]. The picture was posted by her on her Instagram. They recently celebrated 14 years of marriage.

Since the story broke on your blog [on August 12], more information has surfaced. In 2009, when she married Ahmed Elmi, she moved to North Dakota with him. That is when he started attended NDSU. He was a foreign national and as a newly married couple, they were required to prove they were actually a couple by cohabiting. She moved back to Minnesota in 2011. There are also reports that she was arrested by Minneapolis Police in January 2013 and charged with a misdemeanor. I have been able to confirm this using online sources and SomaliSpot also posted (and deleted) a story on this last week. [Christine Bauman confirmed the 2013 arrest in this Alpha News story last year.]

Many in the community, including myself, believe Ahmed Elmi is her brother. If he is the man in London identified in the picture on your first article about this matter [“Ilhan Omar: Her back pages”] then he certainly is her brother. But whether the Ahmed Nur Said Elmi she married is a different one from the same man with the same name who happens to her biological brother, the fact that she remains that she is legally married to him while having children with another man she presents to the public as her actual husband. That alone is scandalous and newsworthy. Where is Ahmed Elmi? And why is she still legally married to him? [Although I believe the marriage was void from its inception, Omar and Elmi were divorced in 2017.] She had another child with Ahmed Hirsi four years ago but continues to be legally married to another man [i.e., Ahmed Elmi]. Since she has lied repeatedly about who her husband is, the burden of proof is on her. I want to personally thank you for your tireless effort to get to the bottom of this and I hope you continue until we get clear answers on this matter.

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