Ilhan Omar Responds After GOP State Senator Calls Her 'Elected Terrorist,' Shares Debunked Picture

Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar used Twitter to respond to a North Dakota state senator who called her an "elected terrorist."

North Dakota state senator Oley Larsen posted a photo to Facebook on Sunday of a woman checking an automatic weapon, stating that the subject of the photo was Omar and that the photograph was taken at an "Al' Qaida" training camp. Larsen also wrote in his caption that Omar was trying to block the photo.

However, the Associated Press, which published the photo in the 1970s, has debunked the rumor that Omar is pictured. According to the AP, the photo Larsen shared was taken at a Mogadishu military training camp in February 1978. Omar was born more than four years later in October 1982.

Omar, a Somali-American who is the first Muslim refugee elected to the U.S. Congress, described Larsen's photo and caption as "dangerous disgusting and disturbing" on Twitter.

"This is pure propaganda designed to stir up hate and violence coming from a GOP state rep. Facebook's unwillingness to crack down on hate speech and misinformation is not just threatening my life, but our democracy," Omar tweeted Monday.

Screenshots of Larsen's Facebook post, which has since been deleted, show he doubled down on the debunked picture and labeled the Minnesota Democratic congresswoman an "elected terrorist" after someone commented on his post.

"Oley is begging to lose his seat," the commenter said. "actually I'm begging to let every one [sic] know she is an elected terrorist," Larsen replied.

"So posting false memes is ok?" replied Troy White, another incredulous Facebook user.

Larsen was first elected to represent North Dakota's 3rd District in 2010 and was recently elected as State Senate President Pro Tempore in April of this year. The incumbent Republican handily won his November 2018 race, with second place Independent candidate Andrew Maragos receiving less than half of his 53.2 percent of the vote.

The original caption of the photograph does not list the names of the two people pictured, but it does describe the woman in the headdress as a Somali army recruit. A uniformed man standing behind her is labeled as an instructor. The picture was taken on February 25, 1978 at a Halane, Mogadishu military training camp.

Last week, Omar joined fellow freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in endorsing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president.

In a separate Sunday Facebook post, Larsen shared an article from the New York Post touting Chris Kelley, a challenger to Omar's congressional seat in the upcoming election. "Hope people get off the couch and take time off work to go vote her out," he remarked.

oley larsen ilhan omar nd
Rep. Ilhan Omar responded after a North Dakota Republican shared a debunked picture which he falsely claimed showed her checking a gun at an Al Qaida terrorist training camp. Screenshot: Oley Larsen | Facebook
Ilhan Omar Responds After GOP State Senator Calls Her 'Elected Terrorist,' Shares Debunked Picture | U.S.