Star Tribune Investigation ‘Could Neither Conclusively Confirm nor Rebut’ Ilhan Omar Married Brother

Ilhan Omar (Stefani Reynolds / Getty)
Stefani Reynolds / Getty

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday that an extensive investigation into the question of why Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was married to one man but filed a joint tax return with another could not determine whether she had married her brother.

Omar was found earlier thismonth to have violated Minnesota campaign finance laws by using campaign funds to pay for out-of-state travel not related to her state legislative duties, and for legal expenses related to her personal tax returns. She was ordered to reimburse her campaign and pay a civil penalty of $500 to the state.

The state probe also found that in 2014 and 2015, Omar filed joint tax returns with Ahmed Hirsi, who is her current husband and the father of her children. The problem is that she was legally married to another man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, at the time. Critics have alleged for years that Elmi was her brother, a claim that Omar has denied.

The Star Tribune report reported:

New investigative documents released by a state agency have given fresh life to lingering questions about the marital history of Rep. Ilhan Omar and whether she once married a man — possibly her own brother — to skirt immigration laws.

Omar has denied the allegations in the past, dismissing them as “baseless rumors” first raised in an online Somali politics forum and championed by conservative bloggers during her 2016 campaign for the Minnesota House. But she said little then or since about Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, the former husband who swept into her life in 2009 before a 2011 separation.

The questions surfaced again this month in a state probe of campaign finance violations showing that Omar filed federal taxes in 2014 and 2015 with her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, while she was still legally married to but separated from Elmi.

Since the recent findings of the campaign finance board that discovered Omar had improperly used campaign money to pay a lawyer to fix her tax filings, the Star Tribune searched public records — including available databases, the marriage and divorce filing, business licenses, university records and other documents — and could find little publicly available information about Elmi. The search of records could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that he is Omar’s sibling.

Read the full Star Tribune article here.

Omar has claimed that she married Hirsi (then Ahmed Aden) in an Islamic ceremony in 2002 but never married him legally. They split up in 2008, and she then married Elmi legally in 2009. Though she broke up with Elmi in 2011, she remained legally married to him while filing tax returns with Hirsi. She divorced Elmi before marrying Hirsi legally.
The Star Tribune reported that Omar refused to provide her tax returns or immigration documents for review — an ironic detail, since she has insisted that President Donald Trump produce his tax returns.

Omar also refused to provide her tax returns to the Associated Press earlier this month.

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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