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Photograph does not show Rep. Omar with a gun at a military camp

August 22, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: A black-and-white photo shows Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota in a military uniform undergoing training.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. The photograph of a woman checking an automatic weapon was taken by The Associated Press on Feb. 25, 1978, before Omar was born. According to information with the photo, it was taken at a military training campus at Halane, Mogadishu.

THE FACTS: The photograph is circulating on Facebook with information that falsely identifies Omar as being pictured with a gun. 

“Ilhan Omar said she hates guns!!!” reads the text of one Facebook post that uses the photo. “Jihadi Omar at a Training Camp for Terrorists!” states another.


Omar, a Somali-America who became the first Muslim refugee elected to U.S. Congress last year, was born on Oct. 4, 1982 _ four years after the photograph was taken.

In a tweet late Wednesday night, Omar described false online claims about the photograph as “dangerous disgusting and disturbing.” A spokesman for Omar referred the AP to the congresswoman’s tweet. 

The AP’s caption does not name the two people in the photo but describes the one checking her gun as a Somali army recruit. She is wearing a headdress and a uniform that features a white belt. It describes the uniformed person standing behind her as an instructor.


This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.

Here’s more information on Facebook’s fact-checking program: