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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke September 4, 2019

No, this isn’t a photo of Ilhan Omar at an al-Qaida training camp

In July, President Donald Trump drew criticism for falsely saying that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., was "speaking about how wonderful al-Qaida is." 

An Aug. 29 Facebook post also seeks to tie the Somalia-born congresswoman to the terrorist group. 

"Here is your precious Muslim congresswoman at a Al’ Qaida training camp in Somalia," begins the post, which features a black-and-white image of a woman holding a gun. "She is trying to get this picture blocked and me banned for posting it. Facebook has banned me twice because the pic is considered offensive? Please retweet pic…"

More than 4,100 people have shared the image on Facebook, at least, and the post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) 

That’s because the photo, while authentic, was taken in 1978, about three years before Omar was born in 1981 in Mogadishu.

The Associated Press image that appears in the Facebook post was taken at a military training campus in the city on Feb. 25, 1978. The caption says it shows "a woman recruit of the Somali Army" checking her automatic weapon. 

We rate this Facebook post Pants on Fire.


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No, this isn’t a photo of Ilhan Omar at an al-Qaida training camp

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