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Image distorts Rep. Omar’s 9/11 remarks

September 11, 2019 GMT

CLAIM: Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota said “My people did something,” in reference to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. An image circulating on Facebook that shows the burning World Trade Center’s twin towers with photos of Omar laughing, wrongly asserts that the Democratic congresswoman said, “My people did something.”

THE FACTS: Omar, the first Muslim refugee elected to Congress, did not say “my people did something” in reference to the terrorist attacks.

She has faced criticism for using the phrase “some people did something” in remarks about the attacks during a speech in March. She used the phrase while speaking to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, stating that the group “was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”


During the speech, Omar added that Muslims in the U.S. had lost some civil liberties following the terrorist acts, essentially becoming “second-class citizens.”

The comments incensed many who thought she was minimizing the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people when four hijacked planes crashed into the trade center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field 18 years ago. Omar’s critics have circulated the phrase “some people did something” online regularly since then.

Responding to criticism over the remarks, Omar noted that President George W. Bush stood at ground zero days after the towers fell and vowed that “the people who knocked these buildings down” would “hear all of us soon.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations was founded in 1994, not after the attacks, as Omar claimed during her March speech, according to its website. Its membership skyrocketed after the 2001 attacks.

This article is part of The Associated Press’s data verification effort to combat misinformation that is shared online, and includes a collaboration with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of fake news circulating in this social network.
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