A Somali community leader who claims to have known Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) for an extensive period of time said she married her brother to help him stay in the United States.
The Daily Mail reported that Abdihakim Osman alleged that Omar told friends the second man she married was her brother, and that she married him for immigration purposes:
“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.
But hardly anyone realized that meant marrying him.
‘No one knew there had been a wedding until the media turned up the marriage certificate years later,’ Osman, 40, exclusively told DailyMail.com.”
The allegations are the latest in a series of controversies Omar has faced concerning her personal life.
Last month, the New York Post reported that the FBI was reviewing the claims that Omar married her brother. The allegations have not been conclusively proved because of a lack of paperwork about their relationship from Somalia, but the agency is reviewing documents concerning the 2009 marriage.
In 2002, Omar applied for a marriage license in Minnesota to marry Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi, according to the Associated Press. A marriage certificate was not issued, and Omar said the two got married in their faith tradition. They had two children together, then separated in 2008.
Omar legally married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who is alleged to be her brother, in 2009. Omar said Elmi was a British citizen at the time, and he began attending college in the United States. The two separated in 2011 but did not legally divorce until 2017. Omar then reunited with Hirsi, and the couple had a third child together. They were married legally shortly after her divorce from Elmi was finalized.
Omar then faced allegations she had an affair with a D.C. political consultant, and she filed for divorce in October 2019.
Omar’s office did not comment on the specific allegations concerning her brother but has called allegations that she married him “disgusting.” Her office has maintained she did not commit immigration fraud.
“Insinuations that Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is my brother are absurd and offensive,” she said in a statement.
“The Congresswoman is focused on the work her constituents sent her to Washington to accomplish,” her spokesman told the Daily Mail.