False claim: Photograph shows Ilhan Omar at an Al Qaida training camp in Somalia

Several social media accounts have posted a photograph with a caption above it that implies that the photograph shows congresswoman Ilhan Omar at an Al Qaida training camp in Somalia. In some versions, it claims she was at "Jihad academy" (see here). Some examples of the claim on Facebook can be found here and here. The earliest it goes back to seems to be a tweet shared on August 1, 2019 that claims the photograph dates to 1993.

A reverse image search on Google shows that this image was taken by the Associated Press and is available on their Associated Press Images website (here: The information provided on this photograph by the AP here shows that it was taken on February 25, 1978. Ilhan Omar was born October 4, 1981. It would have been impossible for her to be the person in this photograph. 

The woman in the photograph is a recruit of the Somali Army at a military training campus in Mogadishu, Somalia. Associated Press Images describes it as follows:

“A woman recruit of the Somali Army checks her automatic weapon at a military training campus at Halane, Mogadishu, on Feb. 25, 1978. On the right is her instructor. President Siad Barre said at a news conference that regular Somali military units have not yet been dispatched in the Ogaden region to avoid international complications. (AP Photo)”.

This post is false. The picture dates to 1978, making it impossible for Omar to be the woman in the photograph as she was not yet born.


False: this is not a photograph of Ilhan Omar.