No, Ilhan Omar Was Not at an Al Queda Training Camp

Here we go again.

A previously debunked photo has once again gone viral. This time on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The picture falsely accuses Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar of attending an Al Qaeda training camp.

The Associated Press initially released this photo of a 1978 female recruit to the Somali Army. Omar wasn’t born until October 1982. She’s not in the picture.

Sadly, logic and math escape some who have low brain capacity. Others simply spread propaganda to leverage and enrage the low-IQ crowd.

Omar’s office recently gave NBC News copies of threatening voicemails she and her family had received. Omar reportedly told NBC News that she is concerned for her children’s safety in light of these threats.

The X image, which purports to be a black-and-white photograph of Omar holding a gun at an Al Qaeda training camp, has been viewed by more than 30,000 people. Omar is attempting to get the photo removed.

The caption on the photo of the female recruit says it’s a woman in Mogadishu checking her automatic rifle at the Halane military training location on February 25, 1978. The person on the right is her instructor.

The Associated Press story says that President Siad Barre stated during a news conference that regular Somali military forces have not yet been deployed in the Ogaden region to avoid international complications, and it makes clear that the president is aware of the potential for diplomatic tensions that could arise from such a deployment.

The Minnesota Legislative Reference Library states that Omar’s birth was in October 1982; therefore, she could not be present then. Britannica also lists Omar’s birthday as October 1982.

Many people, after seeing the AP photo on Facebook, began spreading accusations that Omar was a terrorist.

The statements of a Republican state lawmaker have been roundly criticized as “pure propaganda” meant to encourage violence. It’s been reported that North Dakota State Republican Senator Oley Larsen first shared the photo on his Facebook page.