A brief, grainy video of two people leaving a restaurant could hold the clue as to the reason the marriage of leftist congresswoman Ilhan Omar broke down.
The 12-second video, obtained exclusively by DailyMailTV, shows Omar and her companion leaving a romantic, out-of-the-way Italian restaurant in
She left Caffé Pinguini in Playa Del Rey, a beachside enclave in Los Angeles, with a man who took pains not to allow the couple to be photographed.
And DailyMailTV has learned that an eyewitness observed Omar and her companion holding hands while dining inside the bistro.
‘The bigger question is why they were at this particular restaurant,’ said the man who took the video. You don’t just stumble across Playa Del Rey on a chilly Sunday evening in March.
‘It’s so out of the way. It’s the sort of place you go when you don’t want anyone to know where you are.’
Ilhan Omar was spotted leaving an out-of-the way romantic Italian restaurant in Playa Del Rey outside of Los Angeles with a mystery man in late March
Omar left Caffé Pinguini with this man, who went to lengths to prevent the couple from being photographed on the Sunday night
DailyMailTV has learned that an eyewitness observed Omar and her companion holding hands while dining inside the bistro. Pictured: Omar is seen in the black hijab and red shirt inside the restaurant
The mystery man stopped the onlooker from taking a video of Omar and himself, putting his hand up to block the camera
Last week DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Omar, 36, has left her husband Ahmed Hirsi (pictured together) — the father of her three children. She has moved into a luxury penthouse apartment in the trendy Mill District of Minneapolis
Omar did not respond to DailyMailTV’s request for comment.
Last week DailyMail.com exclusively revealed that Omar, 36, has left her husband Ahmed Hirsi — the father of her three children. She has moved into a luxury penthouse apartment in the trendy Mill District of Minneapolis.
Her private life has become the subject of massive speculation amid accusations that her second husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi is in fact her brother and she only married him to get him entry to the United States.
She later divorced Elmi and remarried Hirsi, but now that marriage is headed for a second divorce.
Omar, 36, has refused to address her marriages, leading to criticism from political rivals and her hometown newspaper.
The video was taken on March 24 by a man who was angered by Omar’s remarks at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Woodland Hills the previous night. A friend had called him to say he had spotted the Minnesota congresswoman at Pinguini and he decided to go there and confront her.
‘It’s only a few miles from where I live and I didn’t really know what I was expecting,’ the man — who doesn’t want to be identified because he works with several left-leaning Hollywood stars — told DailyMail.com.
When he got to the single-story whitewash-walled restaurant, he soon saw Omar and the bespectacled man sitting at a table at the back.
The video was taken on March 24 by a man who was angered by Omar’s remarks at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in Woodland Hills the previous night. A friend had called him to say he had spotted the Minnesota congresswoman at Pinguini and he decided to go there and confront her
The man said the conversation remained cordial and he was surprised how personable Omar was. ‘I realized I was not going to get her to say anything that would get her into more trouble so I just kept it friendly. The guy she was with shook my hand at the end. He seemed very protective of her, it was not a random person. It just felt to me like they were close,’ he said
‘The bigger question is why they were at this particular restaurant,’ said the man who took the video. ‘You don’t just stumble across Playa Del Rey on a chilly Sunday evening in March. It’s so out of the way. It’s the sort of place you go when you don’t want anyone to know where you are’
‘I went in pretending I was going for a take-out,’ the source said. ‘I looked over and said to the waiter ”Is that who I think it is?” and he said yes.
‘He told me he was upset with what she had said and kept calling her ungrateful saying she was a refugee and should be happy that the United States had taken her in.
‘He told me they had been holding hands in the restaurant, although I didn’t see that myself.’ Attempts by DailyMail.com to speak to the waiter were unsuccessful.
The man went outside and decided to wait on a bench and attempt to speak to Omar and her companion as they left.
When the couple came out of Pinguini, they walked close to each other but were not touching. The man asked if he could have a few words with her and Omar’s companion immediately told him to put his cellphone down and put his hand in front of the lens.
‘I had planned to film me asking her questions, but her guy asked me to turn off the phone and I agreed figuring it was the only way I could get them to talk.’
He said he and Omar talked for about 10 minutes. ‘As a Jew, I asked her why she seemed to hate Jews and she said she did not. When I asked her about Israel, she said there was hate on both sides.’
The man said the conversation remained cordial and he was surprised how personable Omar was. ‘I realized I was not going to get her to say anything that would get her into more trouble so I just kept it friendly. The guy she was with shook my hand at the end.
‘He seemed very protective of her, it was not a random person. It just felt to me like they were close.
‘I had sort of failed to get her to say anything explosive on camera so I just forgot about it until I saw that her marriage had come to an end. Then I wondered if this man could be the reason behind it.’
Omar’s private life has become the subject of massive speculation amid accusations that her second husband Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (right) is in fact her brother and she only married him to get him entry to the United States
Omar first married Hirsi in an Islamic ceremony in 2002 when she was 19, but six years later they ‘reached an impasse in our life together,’ and divorced. They reconciled in 2012, having their third and got married in 2018
Omar’s second husband Elmi (pictured), a British citizen, just two weeks after he entered the United States. He has been identified as her brother by many media outlets, though due to a lack of records in their war-torn country of birth that has not been fully proven
Omar’s presence in Los Angeles had caused protests but no one had followed her to Pinguini. ‘There were no fans, no protesters, no security detail,’ said the man who took the video.
Playa Del Rey abuts the back of Los Angeles Airport and the man believes Omar was probably going to catch a red-eye when he talked to her around 10pm.
But the area is also isolated from much of the rest of the city. It has the Pacific Ocean to the west, the airport to the south and the protected Ballona Wetlands to the north and east. While it gets busy with beachgoers in the summer, it has few visitors in milder months.
Omar was at the center of a firestorm on the night she dined at Pinguini. The night before, she had praised CAIR saying 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.’ In fact CAIR was founded in 1994.
Timeline of Omar’s two marriages:
1997: Omar and her family settle in Minnesota after fleeing war-torn Somalia
2002: She marries Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi in a religious ceremony but it is not recognized legally. The pair go on to have two children.
2008: She and Hirsi separate. Because the marriage was never recognized by law, neither is the separation
2009: Omar marries Ahmed Elmi in Minneapolis
2010: He enrolls at North Dakota State University to study fine art and lives with Omar as well as her first husband
2011: Omar claims she and Elmi split this year and he went back to the UK. She reconciles with Hirsi
2012: Omar and Hirsi have their third child.
Elmi is still in the US according to college officials and social media
2013: Elmi starts working in London
2017: Omar divorces Elmi
2018: Omar marries Hirsi in a civil ceremony
2018: The marriage is brought up during Omar’s campaign for congress
She denies it and it is largely ignored because of the lack of proof around it
July 2019: President Trump thrusts the rumor back into the spotlight
Critics immediately called Omar out, saying her remarks had downplayed the horrors of 9/11. She had previously got into trouble after tweeting about the pro-Israeli group AIPAC saying ‘It’s all about the Benjamins, baby,’ which was seen as playing into the anti-Semitic trope that Jews care more about money than principles.
She apologized ‘unequivocally’ for that comment but then claimed that many American Jews ‘have allegiance to a foreign country,’ a statement she did not withdraw.
President Donald Trump has often targeted Omar — a freshman congresswoman who won her Minneapolis-based district with 78% of the vote — for her views and for her close alliance to firebrand congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.
In April he sent out an edited version of her CAIR speech highlighting her saying ‘some people did something,’ and at a recent rally in North Carolina he stood by silently as the crowd chanted ‘Send her back,’ several times after he had mentioned her name.
Trump has also alluded to Omar’s complicated marriage history. ‘There’s a lot of talk about the fact that she was married to her brother. I know nothing about it,’ Trump told reporters in June.
Omar was born in Somalia in the Horn of Africa. She left her war-torn home when she was 8. She lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years before coming to the United States and settling in Minneapolis, the largest hub for Somali refugees in the country.
She first married Hirsi in an Islamic ceremony in 2002 when she was 19. Six years later, after two children, the couple said they had ‘reached an impasse in our life together,’ and divorced.
The following year Omar married Elmi, a British citizen, just two weeks after he entered the United States. He has been identified as her brother by many media outlets, though due to a lack of records in their war-torn country of birth that has not been fully proven.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote in June that it ‘could neither conclusively confirm nor rebut the allegation that (Elmi) is Omar’s sibling.’ Politifact and another myth-busing website, Snopes, came to similar conclusions.
On their marriage application they gave their address as Columbia Heights, Minnesota, but were married 25 miles away in Eden Prairie at a nondescript single-story brick building that houses a county office and a library.
The former couple share three children together (l-r) Isra Hirsi, 16; Ilwad Hirsi, six, and Adnan Hirsi
Omar has now moved into a luxury penthouse apartment in a trendy area of the city. Pictured: Views of the apartment
Omar lives in a three-bedroom apartment on the fourth floor complete with movable granite island, built-in wine rack and stainless steel pot racks in its high-end kitchen
Despite both being Muslim, the ceremony was conducted by Wilecia Harris, a Christian minister. ‘If they had gone to an imam he would have almost certainly have known if they were related,’ one Somali leader in Minnesota told DailyMail.com.
That marriage lasted just two years but it was enough to allow Elmi to study alongside his new wife at North Dakota State University.
Records suggest that Omar, Elmi and Hirsi all lived together for at least part of that time.
Omar then had a third child with Hirsi in 2012 and in 2015 she filed a joint tax return with him — even though she was still legally married to Elmi.
She finally divorced Elmi in 2017 and married Hirsi in a civil ceremony the following year.
Now she has moved out of the family home and into her fourth-floor apartment. The Intercom system at the building lists ‘Omar I’ as a resident but has no mention of Hirsi.
Omar has consistently refused to talk in detail about her marriage to Elmi or her tax filings, leading the politics editor of the Star-Tribune to attack her for her silence.
‘What’s really made it hard is that she’s been unwilling to address any of these questions,’ Kevin Diaz told
‘We quoted her at length to say that these were mere accusations, that they were unfair and that she shouldn’t have to address them.
‘Be that as it may, there was an undisputed instance of her filing her taxes improperly — and if you’re in Congress you should explain that to your constituents.’