Politics & Policy

Clue Hidden in Website Code Fuels Speculation on Rep. Omar’s Marital History

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) leaves the Senate chamber in Washington, D.C., January 24, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Representative Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) has long dismissed the accusation that she married her brother in order to skirt U.S. immigration law, but a clue uncovered in the source code of her sister’s website suggests that the freshman congresswoman may have perjured herself to hide her ex-husband’s whereabouts when filing for a divorce in 2017.

Omar, in an effort to obtain a no-fault divorce from her then-husband Ahmed Elmi, testified under oath in 2017 that she had not seen or heard from Elmi since 2011 and was unable to locate him because they had no mutual acquaintances, and that she did not know the names of any of his immediate family members. But website code reviewed by the Daily Caller suggests that Elmi designed a website for Grit Partners, a health-care-consulting company run by Omar’s sister, Sarah Noor, that same year.

The Grit Partners website includes code, generated by the web-design platform Squarespace, that links to the company’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. Elmi’s name is included in that code: “screenname: Ahmed Elmi” and “UserName: ahmednelmi,” the code reads.

Despite Omar’s insistence in 2017 that she had no way to contact Elmi, he has for years maintained profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. According to his Facebook page, Elmi resides in Nairobi, Kenya, the same city in which Noor lives and operates Grit Partners.

A number of conservative bloggers first suggested that Elmi was Omar’s brother during her first run for the Minnesota state house in 2016, based on a since-deleted 2012 Instagram post that identified Omar’s newborn third child as his “niece.” While screenshots of the Instagram post remain on conservative blogs, no mainstream news outlets have been able to verify their authenticity since the original post was deleted.

Journalists have also raised questions about the legality of Omar’s 2014 and 2015 income-tax returns, which she filed jointly with her second husband Ahmed Hirsi. The tax returns may prove problematic since Omar did not technically divorce Elmi until 2017, three years after she first filed jointly with her second husband.

While Omar claims she divorced Elmi in her “faith tradition” in 2011, the IRS does not permit joint filing unless a couple is legally recognized as married by their home state. Omar has legally corrected what she claims was a simple oversight with the relevant authorities but has refused to explain how the error occurred and has similarly refused to turn over tax and immigration documents requested by the Minnesota Star Tribune.

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