In a newly unearthed video, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is clearly seen joking about Americans' concerns about terror groups like Al Qaeda and Hezbollah while arguing that no one looks at the US Army with the same level of scrutiny.
Fox News' Lukas Mikelionis reports:
“When I was in college, I took a terrorism class. ... The thing that was interesting in the class was every time the professor said ‘Al Qaeda’ his shoulders went up,” Omar said during an interview from 2013 when she was an activist within the Somali community, chuckling as she imitated the professor saying "Al Qaeda" and "Hezbollah."
Omar went on to contrast the way people say the names of terror groups with how they pronounce the names of western powers:
“But you know, it is that you don’t say ‘America’ with an intensity, you don’t say ‘England’ with the intensity. You don’t say ‘the army’ with the intensity,” she continued. “... But you say these names [Al Qaeda] because you want that word to carry weight. You want it to be something.”
Omar made the remarks during an interview on the show "Belahdan" on Twin Cities PBS that was first unearthed by Fox News in February. Omar’s office did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the clip.
Besides occasionally trotting out anti-Semitic tropes, Omar has a history of controversial comments about terrorism.
In the same 2013 interview, Omar described "terrorist acts" as a response to "our involvement in other people’s affairs." Her statement came in the wake of an Al Qaeda affiliated attack on a Kenyan shopping center that killed scores of civilians.
Omar continued, "Nobody wants to take accountability of how these are byproducts of the actions of our involvement in other people’s affairs."
As a state representative three years later, Omar petitioned Judge Michael Davis for leniency toward nine Minnesota men accused of trying to join ISIS.
One of the men readily admitted he wasn't entering war-torn Syria as a humanitarian but to "fight and kill on behalf of the Islamic State."
Fortunately, the judge didn't listen to Omar.