Advanced Artificial Intelligence Systems and Ilhan Omar—with Yaacov Apelbaum
by Jerry Gordon and Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant (September 2019)
Faceless Portrait, AICAN, 2018
A new investigative tool has been developed that has the potential of exploiting biometric facial recognition (FR) and massive imagery data bases using Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to aid law enforcement organizations and prosecutors in both international and domestic criminal cases. These advanced FR and AI techniques have penetrated and documented evidence of African criminal financial alliances illegally extracting millions from hapless victims in so-called Military Romance scams. Further, these advanced techniques may enhance NGO complaints filed with the Congressional Ethics Office requesting investigation of controversial criminal violation allegations against Minnesota US Representative Ilhan Omar. Ms. Omar, a Somali refugee who came to this country as an asylee in 1995 at the age of 12, was first elected as a Minnesota State Representative in 2016, then moved up to be elected to the 5th Minnesota Congressional District in 2018, all while she was questioned about possible perjury about an alleged marriage and divorce of a brother in the UK, Ahmed Elmi, while married to the father of her three children, Ahmed Hirsi.
Minneapolis Star Tribune, have raised significant questions regarding these allegations. That prompted Washington, DC-based NGO, Judicial Watch (JW) on July 23, 2019 to file a complaint with David Skaggs, chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics. The compliant called “for a full investigation into potential crimes tied to allegations that Omar may have married her biological brother.” The JW Complaint noted:
The evidence developed against Rep. Omar was the result of a three-year-long investigation in both the United States and the United Kingdom by Mr. Steinberg and his investigative reporter colleagues Preya Samsundar and Scott Johnson. It is supported by information gathered from public records, social media postings, genealogy databases, computer forensic analysis, unaltered digital photographs, discussions between the investigative reporters and the subjects of the investigation themselves, and information supplied by confidential sources within the Somali-American community.
decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu to bar their entry because it would be “damaging.” Ms. Tlaib then separately appealed on humanitarian grounds in a letter to Israel’s interior minister to be admitted to visit her grandmother in the West Bank; only to reject the offer. She then traveled to the Minnesota State capital on August 19, 2019 to join with Ms. Omar in a press conference rebuking Israel for treatment of Palestinians and restrictions that prevented them from traveling there.
Read more in New English Review:
• The Ayatollah of Climate Change: Greta Thunberg
• Germany, Iran, and Hezbollah
Against this background, Jerry Gordon and Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant interviewed Yaacov Apelbaum, founder and CTO of New York -based XRVision, Ltd, an early stage start up technology company developing adaptive AI video analytics solutions for law enforcement, security, and intelligence applications—called Sentinel AI. This is the future of visual intelligence.
Among its exploits are:
- Uncovering and decompiling multi-billion-dollar military romance scams on dating sites, Facebook, and social media perpetrated by networks in the African nations of Ghana and Nigeria, all supported by payoffs to national police, local banks/money transfer companies, and NGO’s including UN personnel.
- Decompiling the network behind the Steele Dossier and the Trump Russia collusion claim.
- Positively identifying the family relationship and false narrative of US Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar that left many questions about her family, her controversial marriage to and divorce from her brother, and legitimacy of her refugee application? Then there is the family’s privileged position under the corrupt Somali Barre regime. There is the matter of how they were granted asylum status and entered the US under the pretense of being refugees and how they were able to make sizable property investments in the US. The analysis conducted by the Sentinel AI system might provide tangible leads in any US House Ethics Office investigation of Ms. Omar arising from the recent complaint filing of Judicial Watch, a Washington, DC-based corruption watchdog organization.
XRVision was established in 2016. The Company’s focus is on mobile and wearable video analytics and visual intelligence in difficult and uncontrolled environments. The system offers the dual capability of enhancing video and images in less than optimum lighting situations and reconstructing defective and low-quality images. This coupled with the ability to classify complex video objects and conduct massive searches of image databases enables XRVision to synthesize and effectively deliver actionable information and visual intelligence.
Africa-based Military Romance Scams
The power of XRVision’s Sentinel AI system was put to the test in uncovering networks of both Ghanaians and Nigerians engaged in billion-dollar military romance scams. These were typically perpetrated against widowed and/or divorced middle-aged men or women who use Facebook or on-line dating sites. On August 22, 2019, the FBI in California arrested 11 persons, charging 80, in a Nigerian criminal conspiracy military romance scheme extracting millions from hapless victims. The scammers used stolen images of actual US military personnel serving overseas to entrap their targets. The estimates of the yield from each scammed victim, using blackmail and compromising information, range between $100,000 to $500,000 per scam. Apelbaum estimated that the scams may account for upwards of 5-15 percent of the Gross Domestic Income of African countries Ghana and Nigeria. XRVision exploited the full range of facial recognition and the adaptive AI analytics to ensnare the perpetrators. Apelbaum uses the analogy of unraveling the edge of a knit sweater by pulling on it until one long thread remains. As the ‘sweater’ was being unraveled by AI Sentinel software, it was cataloging information about the entire scammer network. Apelbaum entrapped the scammers using a traditional ‘honeypot’. Their system created a computer-generated person named Olga, an attractive middle-aged divorced woman, a nurse. They created a verifiable cover story for her and even an AI based computer generated (CG) voice. The interaction between the CG divorcee and the stolen picture of a US Army officer named Brandon developed into a steamy on-line romance and requests for Olga to send intimate photographs of herself and money so that they could get married. This was probably one of the first examples of two virtual personas trying to scam each other. The email and text exchanges enabled Apelbaum to capture the contact and other location information of the scam perpetrators. Once the Sentinel AI system was unleashed on these records, it proceeded to traverse and reconstruct multiple well-organized networks of hundreds of individuals and identify their collaboration with government, police, banks, phone companies, ISP, NGO, and local UN personal that were being used to transport funds and other contraband across the border to neighboring countries. The analytical details captured the perpetrator’s names, phone numbers, home address, car make and models, license plate numbers, and their bank information. It even unmasked their business-related activity such as the commission structure used by the actors in on the scams and the mechanisms such as real-estate development used for money laundering.
Did Rep. Ilhan Omer fabricate family history?
Analysis of the family narrative of Minnesota US Rep. Ilhan Omar focused on the ambiguities of the family Somali names, their ‘escape’ narrative and the privileged position of the Elmi family in Somalia and its genealogy. That left the question: who is this public person? The Sentinel AI analytics evaluated Ilhan Omar’s using the large volume of her video speeches, newspaper interviews, and social media footprint. Some of the results of the analysis flagged anomalies about her name and published pedigree. For example, in Somalia there are typical canonical naming conventions. The last name of Omar didn’t fit the canon for the Elmis. Omar’s maternal grandfather Baba Abukar was educated in Italy and held several senior government positions including the Director of Marine Transportation. Ilhan’s father Nur held a significant Barre government position as a propogandist. The family lived in idyllic and comfortable circumstances for over 50 years. The US branch of the Elmi family chart had been virtually erased and didn’t begin until they reached Arlington, Virginia and signed up for Social Security in 1995. Using the Sentinel AI system revealed conflicting versions of the family’s escape story from Mogadishu during the overthrow of the Barre regime by rebel nationalists in 1991-1992. What was discovered was that Ilhan Omar’s family of about 20 individuals lived in a protected compound in Mogadishu and on short notice, mobilized with cash, passports, visas, flew to Kenya without apparent travel restrictions.
While in Kenya, they lived in relative comfort in a private residence which meant they had significant funding and local political patronage. There are questions about who sponsored their entry to the US, facilitated by Lutheran World Services? Why did one wing of the family (two brothers and a sister) go to the UK and maintained their original family name Elmi? And why did a separate contingent come to the US (Ilhan, her sister and father) and assume the name of Omar, belonging to non-related family in Arlington Virginia? There is confusion whether Ilhan has 3, 5 or 7 siblings. Subsequent to the overthrow of the Barre regime, cabinet members and senior military officials were granted entry to Canada, the UK, and US, the presumption being they might be repatriated to serve in a subsequent regime like the one established in 2016. The results of Apelbaum’s Sentinel AI analysis strongly suggest that there are material questions about Ilhan’s real name, birth date, actual number of siblings, and the identify of their common father. The Sentinel AI analysis also confirmed the identification of her brother Ahmed Nur Elmi in the UK to be her husband. Apelbaum cited the large quantity of social media image deletions involving Rep. Omar and family relations that began in 2015 to alter records. For example, during her 2016 visit with the Somali President Mohamed Hassan Sheikh, there is an article on the state radio website with the photos of llhan and her husband who is identified in the article as Ahmed Elmi (her brother’s name), when in fact it is Ahmed Hirsi, her current husband. These photographs were then erased from the server while the text of the article remains. Using the Sentinel AI software, Apelbaum was able to retrieve the images and run facial recognition on the images. The results confirmed the deliberate name misattribution and the real identify of the individual at the meeting with the president.
CAIR, all of which is well documented. For example, using XRVisions’ Sentinel AI system they were able analyze footage and multiple images of Ilhan Omar and people who frequently surround her. It identified a close relationship with her chief strategist Tim Mynett. The Omar campaign paid more than $250,000 to Mynett’s E Street Group over the period from August 2018 to June 2019. Mynett had previously been the National Finance Director for Omar’s predecessor, Keith Ellison, now Minnesota State Attorney General. Omar recently announced that she was separating from her current husband Ahmed Hirsi. Mynett coordinated and attended her March 23, 2019 speech a CAIR fundraiser in California. During which she referred to the 9/11 terror attack on the WTC as “some people did something.” Analyzing several occluded and low-grade images, Sentinel AI was able to reconstruct them holding hands after leaving a restaurant during the California trip. On August 27, 2019, The New York Post reported a divorce filed by Maynett’s wife in Washington, DC claiming that Ms. Omar had “stolen her husband”.
Apelbaum thinks that Omar’s political and ideological stance is self-explanatory. The overriding issue with her is that we know very little about personal and family details for a sitting US Congresswoman. What we do know could be fictitious and fabricated.
Rod: Rod Bryant here and Jerry Gordon have another great show lined up for you. I am telling you Jerry our guest is an international man of mystery. When you hear about what this company is doing and what they have revealed, it is going to make your head spin. Jerry, tell our listeners who our guest is.
Jerry: Our guest is Yaacov Apelbaum. He is the Founder and CEO of this amazing company XRVision. XRVision is involved with video, facial recognition and advanced adaptive artificial intelligence. That sounds like a mouthful but after you listen to him today you will find out it is the tool of the future for law enforcement, security and most importantly intelligence.
Rod: You know there are a lot of people that are going to listen to the show and become a bit alarmed to say you mean these people have this kind of ability to analyze things and this is all open source material? This is too scary, but this is the reality of living in a post-modern age and in the 21st Century, right?
Jerry: It is. You are going to hear about some amazing exploits using this technology identifying two countries in Africa that have engaged in billion dollar a year military romance scams.
Rod: Right on Facebook and dating sites . . .
Jerry: On top of that you are going to find out how he has been able to unravel the fabricated narrative story of U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar.
Rod: Let me tell you this is solid research. If you are listening to the show today, you need a pen and pad because you are going to find out that this woman is absolutely a made-up person. She is not who she says she is.
We are bringing on a very special guest Yaacov Apelbaum. We have some very intriguing information that we want to share. We were in a conversation with him prior to the broadcast and found out the very interesting work that he does with early stage advanced video facial recognition software and advanced artificial intelligence techniques. We wanted to interview him and share information with you that you may not obtain elsewhere on the internet or on radio.
Jerry: Yaacov you are the founder of early stage advanced video facial recognition and Artificial Intelligence applications firm called XRVision. Our listeners can certainly search on Google and find out all about you. Could you tell our listeners what XRVision’s security law enforcement and intelligent applications and customers?
Yaacov: Sure, so we formed the company in about 2016. We are a New York based company. We operate primarily from Long Island as an early stage start up. We specialize in video analytics and visual intelligence. Visual intelligence is an interesting field because it is a broad discipline of many types of analytics combined into a single product. We offer a specialized facial recognition (FR). Our facial recognition is different than the traditional FR by allowing us to operate on defective images, on partial images, in very difficult uncontrolled environments that are not always optimum in terms of illumination and light and the geometry of the cameras. We take the junk of the video world and we try to do something with that. We also support massive searches of image depositories for content and meaning. For example, we can traverse a lot of images on the internet as well as other locations and derive some actionable intelligence out of those images, link them together to identify what is inside those images. That is our forte: video analytics.
Rod: You also said that once they hook them, they perfect a script that they follow to entice them. They know exactly the right words to use, the exact phrases to use to entice them. I would see a scam coming from a billion miles away, but most people are needy. They maybe a widow or widower which can be very devastated for these people. So how did you get involved with this project?
Rod: Where can our listeners go and read your research online.
Yaacov: Yes, you can go to apelbaum.wordpress.com or you can also do a search online for “Military Romantic Scam” and “Apelbaum” and you will find the report we prepared.
Rod: Would you describe what these AI Analytics do and how it pulls information automatically down to obtaining the license plates of the vehicles owned by perpetrators involved, their pictures, pictures at different locations, at different times with different individuals.
Rod: I find it fascinating, that what you can do is expose the whole group of scammers to include their hierarchy. It is just like the mob with their payment scheme, pictures of them at banks, pictures of them with their new Mercedes, some of them are the photographs of when they first started living in a little hut and then next, they are living in a beautiful high-rise. Very intriguing story from Yaacov Apelbaum using amazing AI technology that does facial recognition and how they were able to bust this major African mafia scamming millions and billions of dollars through these Military Romance Predatory Appeals. Yaacov, could wrap up with some of the interesting details that your AI investigations uncovered.
Rod: Very interesting that your team was able to figure out what percentages that the first, second and third tier persons the boss, the big kingpin, what the government and police officers were paid. I just I found it all intriguing.
Jerry: Yaacov, given the heightened interest in the American Jewish community over synagogue and NGO security following the deadly attacks in Pittsburgh, Poway, Miami and elsewhere what capabilities does your firm have that might significantly enhance existing security CCTV networks?
Jerry: Turning to their entry to the United States, who sponsored the Elmi family, her father Nur, Ilhan and her sister, under the Family Reunification Resettlement program in the U.S.?
Jerry: Yaacov, in the middle part of the 1980s there was a sea change development. Russians dropped their support of dictator Barre in Somalia and flipped to support the Communist Degre regime in neighboring Ethiopia. Was that a point in time where the father Nur and his other associates might have been picked up by certain elements of the U.S?
Rod: In your opinion should the U.S. investigation pursue Ms. Omar’s connections with CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas affiliate.
Yaacov: The problem with looking for Somali rebels in the US is that all Somalis at one point or another had some form of either resistance activity or they were part of the Barre regime just like Ilhan Omar’s father. Ilhan Omar’s father was certainly proud of the Barre government that held sway over the country. We know for example that the grandfather Baba Abukar studied in Italy and came back. He held the senior position of Director for Marine Transportation infrastructure. We also know that they lived in privileged circumstances for over fifty years with books, music and visits overseas. We know a lot of interesting information about the family. They were certainly not poor refugees. I think it would be interesting to find out the real identity of those individuals and who are they for good and bad.
Rod: You mentioned that much of her information has been scrubbed or intentionally deleted from the internet which makes more difficult to establish whether some of these stories are true or not correct?
apelbaum.wordpress.com. You really need to read some of his reports. Yaacov you did an amazing job on your research and we will chat with you later. Until next time at this same time we will see you next week and we say shalom.
Listen to the original Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix interview.
Jerome B Gordon is a Senior Vice President of the New English Review, author of The West Speaks, NER Press 2012, and co-author of Genocide in Sudan: Caliphate Threatens Africa and the World, JAD Publishing, 2017. Mr. Gordon is a former US Army intelligence officer who served during the Viet Nam era. He is producer and co-host of Israel News Talk Radio – Beyond the Matrix. He was the co-host and co-producer of weekly The Lisa Benson Show for National Security that aired out of KKNT960 in Phoenix Arizona from 2013 to 2016 and co-host and co-producer of the Middle East Round Table periodic series on 1330amWEBY, Northwest Florida Talk Radio, Pensacola, Florida from 2007 to 2017.
Rod Reuven Dovid Bryant is creator and host of Israel News Talk Radio-Beyond the Matrix.
Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast