Fake News: Omar Is NOT Legally Married In Somalia, NOT Voiding Her Citizenship

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fake News: Omar Is NOT Legally Married In Somalia, NOT Voiding Her Citizenship

Is Ilhan Omar married to a Somali man named B'oom B'oom? No, that's not true: The man in the photo is Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, an American actor who played the role of Freddy 'Boom Boom' Washington in the popular TV series Welcome Back, Kotter from 1975- 1979. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them. Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators or a liberal from Maine via the ad revenue generated with the content, which is probably not what they expected or wanted.

The story originated from an article published by Bustatroll.org on November 4, 2019 titled "Omar Still Legally Married In Somalia,Voiding Her Citizenship" (archived here) which opened:

Word has been delivered from a member of the Somalian government that Democrat Representative Ilhan Omar still has a husband, whom she did not divorce, residing in that country. The reason this information is significant is because, if this true - and it obviously is - it would mean that her marriage that took place here in the USA is void and that, by not declaring her already existing marriage, so too is her citizenship as a result of this fraud, which was a criminal act.

State Department representative, Joeb Arron, discussed with us the further implications of the situation:

"If the allegations leveled against Mrs. Omar prove to be true, she would face, not only loss of citizenship, but a jail sentence of up to 15 light years, and deportation back to Somalia upon her release. Once there, she would likely again be incarcerated as her husband, B'oom B'oom, holds a great deal of influence there and is quite upset that his wife - a 15 year marriage at the time of her exit from the country - left him so suddenly, embarrassing him in front of The Hors Ha'ck, which is the Somalian parliament.
The investigation into the alleged crime is already under way."

Screenshot of https://bustatroll.org/2019/11/04/omar-still-legally-married-in-somaliavoiding-her-citizenship/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Omar Still Legally Married In Somalia,Voiding Her Citizenship

This article was written by the pseudonymous author Colon Crusher under the heading, "Conservative Fan Fiction, Satire for Islamaphobes." The fictitious story about Ilhan Omar's first husband, and the logic-defying claim that she left a 15-year marriage when she left Somalia (she was only six years old when her family left) finishes with a photo of the Welcome Back, Kotter cast and a caption suggesting the show may be making a comeback.

This story has already been partially copied by Politicodailynews.com (archived here)
and was republished without any of the original satire warnings, Colon Crusher's byline, or the photo of the cast of the TV show. This makes it less likely that a casual reader would notice the remaining silly incongruities in the text or the satirical intent.

Bustatroll.org is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact-checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up.

Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer, it is of course also fake news.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bustatroll.org as:

A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard, the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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