Ilhan Omar, 2013 Video: Terrorism Is Reaction to U.S. Involvement Abroad

Ilhan Omar 2013 (Bel Ahdan / Screenshot / YouTube)
Ilhan Omar 2013 (Bel Ahdan / Screenshot / YouTube)

First-term Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) told a local Minnesota television program in 2013 that terrorism is a reaction to U.S. “involvement in other people’s affairs.”

Omar appeared on the Bel Adhan show to discuss the Westgate terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya on Sep. 21, 2013, in which Islamic radicals from the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab killed 71 people in a shopping mall, most of whom were civilians.

Following the attack, the media reported concerns that Al-Shabaab was recruiting among expatriates in the West — including in Minnesota.

Fox News reported the existence and content of the video on Monday, which was uploaded in October 2013 to the YouTube channel of Bel Adhan host Ahmed Tharwat.

Omar began by complaining that Somalis felt compelled to condemn the terror attack publicly. “You don’t see any other atrocities occur in any other part of the world where you have the citizens asked to condemn the act,” she claimed.

The host told Omar: “Nobody would talk about … the fact that they were fighting the Ethiopians, that they were invading Somalia, that they have been supported by the United States. Do I hold the Americans responsible — the average American responsible because their state supports another country to invade your country or my country?”

Omar agreed, “Yeah,” referring to Somalia as “our country” in noting that Al-Shabaab had attacked Somalis, too. She complained that Ethiopians had attacked a shopping mall in the Somali capital Mogadishu and that the media had not covered the story.

Later, Tharwat claimed that there was racism at stake in the media’s treatment of “non-white” mass killers, while they wanted to “go to psychoanalysis” for white mass killers.

Omar responded that it was important to understand the “root causes of where their ideology stems from, and what it is that makes these people leave their, again, normal lives and go back a country where their families have fled … to cause more harm in a country that is already fractured, that is already suffering from so many other atrocities. There is a deeper cause.”

She later added: “Nobody wants to face how the actions of the other people that are involved in the world have contributed to the rise of the radicalization and the rise of terrorist acts. So usually, most people want to not look internal and see … about their actions that makes another react … these are by-products of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs.”

Tharwat responded that “the violence that is done in the West is done by the people that are elected.”

Omar agreed: “It is legitimized.”

The point upon which they agreed appeared to be that Somalis, as a community, should not be held accountable for the actions of terror groups whom no one had elected.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appointed Omar to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month despite concerns about her radical views and past antisemitic rhetoric.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.



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