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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.
Separate investigations by Preya Samsundar, formerly of AlphaNewsMN, Scott Johnson of Powerline, David Bernstein of PJ Media and the editorial board of the 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.
This is notwithstanding Ms. Omar’s virulent support for anti-Israel BDS. Her accusations have been roundly castigated in a rare bipartisan vote on an anti-BDS resolution by her Democratic and Republican Congressional colleagues. HBO Real Time host Bill Maher derided Ms. Omar’s BDS support as akin to “a bullshit purity test” amounting to delegitimization of the Jewish nation. Ms. Omar has spoken at fundraisers for acknowledged Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas front, Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), suggesting that “Muslims should raise hell.” Ms. Omar, who with her Congressional colleague, Ms. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan’s 13th CD, rejected an offer to visit Israel along with 71 Democratic and Republican colleagues in August 2019. Instead they opted to accept the itinerary of a Palestinian NGO, Miftah, to visit Palestinian Authority officials, far left Israeli groups, communities in the West Bank, US Embassy officials and Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Miftah was found to have supported known Palestinian terrorists. While invited by Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer to travel to Israel; ultimately, the controversy came to halt with the 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.
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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:
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.
Apelbaum says the puzzle about Ilhan Omar is not her affinity with organizations like 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: One of the stunning examples XRVision’s law enforcement applications that you shared with us was infiltrating an African scamming operation. Now most people may or may not be aware of it but basically networks of Africans and other places of the world are exploiting what is called military romance predatory appeal. They have a stunning Army Officer or soldier and they make a connection to a woman on Facebook or via a romance app. Pretty soon they have hooked them in, and it isn't long before they stole from them hundreds of thousands of dollars. You said that this might amount to between 5 to 15 percent of the gross income for Ghana and Nigeria.
Yaacov: You know it's difficult to get some figures because the UN statistics for countries’ GDP don't show any scamming activity whatsoever as a source of revenue. However, we know from other sources that the Nigerian and Ghanaian scams for example generate upwards of a billion dollars per year each. All that revenue seems to exist under the radar. We know from several sources that a typical romantic scam can cost a victim anywhere between $120,000 to $500,000. Once those scamming artists bite into a victim it is very difficult for the victim to let go. Because during the initial exchange when the relationship is established, they will typically solicit some compromising information about the victim such as nude photographs, medical conditions or similar information. At that point they already own the victim and even if the victim tries to disengage, they will blackmail the victim.
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?
Yaacov: We did several trial projects over the last two years that involved visual intelligence. We combined our video analytics, with adaptive learning, which is the ability of the system to learn as it's solving a problem. Another big component, that previously was not available, was to use real time big data processing so we could use several open sourced frameworks to tie everything together. Using all those frameworks we figured out why not look at a pretty difficult problem to solve which is the erotic scams. The reason why the problem is so difficult to solve is because they operate overseas, and they are anonymous. We don't know who they are, we don't have any legal jurisdiction over them so we can't surveil them and we can't obtain a warrant, we can't kick down any doors and we can't intercept their phone calls because they use burner phones. It is a pretty tough nut to crack. What we wanted to do in this case study was to see if the AI technology can try and crack the nut. That was the basis for the initiative.
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.
Yaacov: I will start with the kind of the foundations of how the AI applications work. A good analogy is unraveling a knitted sweater that your purchased knitted by hand from a single or multiple thread. What you do basically is find the edge of the thread and then unravel the knot and start pulling and as you pull you will eventually unravel the whole sweater. The whole sweater will be a single thread that lies on the ground. The AI works basically in the same way. As it unravels the sweater it catalogs everything along the way. For example, in the case of the sweater it looks for the knitting technique, the mistakes, patterns, the types of dye that was used for the sweater. What we basically did was create a ‘honey pot’. We created a fictitious individual, a middle-aged lady by the name of Olga Shmakova. We then created dating site profiles for her and computer-generated images for her. Everything is synthetic. She doesn't exist. We posted her profile online, as a divorced woman, a nurse in an emergency room who was very attractive and interesting. Within a few days we got a hit from an individual calling himself Captain Brandon with the U.S. Army as a Surgeon posted in Afghanistan. We created a rapid steamy romance with Captain Brandon. There a lot of promises of love and fidelity, they were even going to get married at a resort in Indonesia. At some point he asked for about twenty thousand dollars to get an early release from his engagement and that basically gave us an IP address. We had an IP address of Captain Brandon. That was the proverbial thread in the sweater. Once we had this IP address, we unleashed the AI on Brandon and that unraveled the entire network. We found were the scammer basically was located, who his neighbors were and what kind of computers he was using, what kind of images he has. We obtained the complete catalog of the scammer as Captain Brandon and his ecosystem. The AI is relentless, it doesn't sleep, it doesn't rest, and it gets better and better with every second that goes around. Once we figured out who Brandon was then his next friend in the network ran much faster. The total process took about thirty hours from beginning to end. However, a lot of it had to do with training the AI system and improving it. You must train the system initially to identify the mistakes and point it in the right direction. That basically is the life cycle.
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.
Yaacov: What we discovered was that contrary to the common misconception these are not operations that somebody is running from the basement. These are well organized government sponsored activities that often have the support of local NGO's as well as local UN Forces used to transport money in and out of the country. We had several examples where they used UN helicopters and airplanes to move contraband in and out of the country. We know that the banks where the money is being deposited. We know that the local police cooperates with those networks receiving kickbacks providing them with protection. It is a well lubricated operation. Everybody has this mental picture of the Somali pirates you know kidnapping and hijacking passengers and ships on the high seas. This is the southeast African variance of the same thing.
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?
Yaacov: One of the biggest problems with all the surveillance systems installed in various communities like community centers and synagogues and other locations is the low quality of the cameras that were installed. Those cameras were installed many years ago and even if they were installed recently, they would probably be lower end Chinese brands that really don't provide the high-quality imagery and video analytics to a large degree. If you have a high definition image you can do really some wonderful things with it. If we have low quality images or if the camera that is installed on the ceiling doesn't really see the face then you are somewhat limited by what you can do. One of the things that our technology does it optimizes the quality of the imagery from even low-end cameras. It also compensates for natural and some other environmental conditions. The technology can potentially upgrade significantly exiting surveillance installations without the necessity to really upgrade significantly.
Jerry: Yaacov, let's turn to your published stories regarding the family origin narrative of the controversial Minnesota Muslim U.S. representative Ilhan Omar. What did your analysis reveal about the Elmi family and father Nur’s privileged position in the Somali Marxist Islamist dictatorship of Siad Barre?
Yaacov: My interest in Congresswoman Omar was sparked by the fact that there was some ambiguity about very basic questions about her family name. I found most high-ranking politicians in Somalia don't have family name issues. That stimulated a case study project where we ran some of the analytics on Ms. Omar and other family members. That branched into several projects that included the family make up and information regarding their entry into the US as well as some of their enterprises. That was the genesis of the project. One of the things that we discovered when we ran our AI analytics was that there were some anomalies in their family name. Typically, Somali names follow a canon that goes by chosen name which is the name that is given to the child, the father’s name and the grandfathers name. The Omar family doesn't follow the Somali naming canon. Omar is a foreign name. That triggered further examination. One of the interesting things that we found was that a very large portion of the Elmi family tree was completely erased. It does not exist. It really shows up for the first time on the net in the early 1990s when they obtain Social Security numbers issued to them in Virginia. Before that they don’t seem to exist.
Jerry: What did your analysis reveal about how the Elmi family "escape narrative" from the overthrow of the Barre' regime in Somalia to Kenya?
Yaacov: What we found was based on AI analysis of her extensive video and many of Ilhan Omar's speeches. She talks a lot, she seems to be very vocal, tends to give many video and newspaper interviews. So, we had an extensive data base to analyze. One of the interesting things we found were multiple versions of the same story. Why is that interesting because typically they will have a pretty standard version of that story. There may be some minor variations. However, in her case the whole story of her escape from Mogadishu, the fact that the family lived in multiple places, the fact that the escape was triggered by different events contained multiple versions. Those versions could not be reconciled. For example, in one version she claimed that a hostile militia surrounded their armed compound. They had an armed compound in Mogadishu where they lived in. That the militia proceeded to try and break the door to the compound then they opened fire on the compound. In another version of the story she told to another source she claimed that her sister and aunt spoke to the armed militia through the window and convinced them to retreat peacefully. There are several not easily reconcilable versions in those stories. I'll give you another example. She claims that there was a party of twenty individuals, of her family that left the compound and then proceeded to the airport in Mogadishu which is on the seashore and they flew to Kenya. Now it is very difficult to reconcile her refugee story with the fact that twenty individuals without passports, without funds and yet had travel visas and a safe convoy to the airport at a time when the airport was controlled by rebel militias. The Elmi family had been heavily connected to the Barre regime. There is the whole issue of her living in Kenya. Ilhan or the Elmi family told us that they lived in a UN refugee camp. We know for a fact that they lived in Mombasa, a pretty affluent resort town. To live in a resort town, you require significant cash which again doesn't fit the refugee escape story.
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.?
Yaacov: The entry to the U.S. itself is very suspicious because they entered the U.S. through the sponsorship of a Lutheran organization in Kenya that connected them with the Omar family. What proceeds after their entry to the U.S. seems to be a complete revamping of their background. They changed their names; they changed their identities and the whole family split into two parts. A UK-based branch which maintains the original family name called Elmi and the U.S. branch then adopt a new family name called Omar. What proceeds after the arrival to the U.S. is also a whole chain of very mysterious occurrences. They spent a very short time in Virginia and then they moved to another location. The father himself seems to be involved in several activities that doesn't really support their lifestyle. They developed a very exorbitant lifestyle. Wherever they lived they own or invest in significant properties. Which again raises the question of where those resources came from? They were not living on food stamps.
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?
Yaacov: The situation in Somalia wasn't so much as the Russians dropping Siad Barre', it was more Siad Barre looking for a new impressive date for the prom, meaning the US The African dictators as well as some of the Arabic country leadership realized very quickly that the only thing that the Russians could supply them would be with a Kalashnikov supply of bullets for every child that is born but not much beyond it. Not much in terms of economic opportunity, prestige and development. That is why you see a massive shift towards the West specifically towards the U.S. in Africa and Middle East. That is why Nasser of Egypt eventually decided to kick out the Russian advisors started courting the U.S. Siad Barre' decided that his interest lay more with the U.S. interests. The Russians obviously continued to support the revolutionary Communist militias and national movement that attempted to overthrow Barre. The interest of the West in Somalia never stopped. England always continued to support the Somali Independence Movement especially in Somaliland as well as some other areas. For example, we know for a fact that after the Civil War in 1992 over 200,000 Somali's came to the UK. Now we also know that at least fifty percent of the former Barre Somali cabinet members were given British citizenship. Fifty percent of the cabinet members probably even more so when you look at the individuals that live in the UK under British citizenship you find individuals like came to Canada and then to the U.S. The head of Barre’s Secret Service was working as a forklift operator in England moving frozen vegetables, we find his Deputy was employed as an auto parts salesman. find Barre’s Interior Minister worked in a grocery store. There were a significant Barre government leadership relocated to the UK. The same program was also potentially used in the U.S. That is why some of these Barre hierarchy figures went overseas from Somalia. Now why did they do that? The reason is probably because they wanted to have invested interests in the future leadership of the country. Everybody knew that Civil War would end and when the Civil War would end, those individuals would go back to Somalia and run the country. That happened in a lot of the instances, after a political settlement was concluded in 2016. They were just going back and reasserting themselves.
Rod: In your opinion should the U.S. investigation pursue Ms. Omar’s connections with CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas affiliate.
Yaacov: I think that the lower hanging fruits over here is not necessarily her political connections because those political connections are very difficult to investigate. Somebody like Ilhan Omar would always claim persecution. They are persecuting her because of her creed, religion and political affiliation. I think the lower hanging fruits over here are questions about what is the real name of the Omar family? How many siblings does the family have? Omar moves constantly from three to seven. Depending on who she speaks to she would say that they have either seven or five to three siblings. What is the relationship of the father? Who is the father of her children, who is her husband? We know for example that she's married suddenly to an individual who currently lives in the UK, our analytics identified him as her brother. We know for a fact that this is the brother that she has in the UK. Those are basic questions that I think should be investigated before we even jump the political arena.
Rod: I completely understand that. Are you of the view that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to look at the other detail on the names that you could find maybe some nefarious characters in the background involved with Somali rebels?
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?
Yaacov: Contrary to the common belief just because you delete something on a computer that the information doesn't go away. Unless you go through an extraordinary amount of effort to delete that information proceeds are always obtainable from back up servers, One of the interesting things that our search discovered about Ilhan Omar was a massive attempt from about 2015 on to delete, modify and alter a large quantity of internet records including a lot of social media documents. For example, they would delete a lot of images that show the family together in the UK. The family in the UK shows that there are really five siblings in the family, not three, not seven. We have two brothers and she has two sisters. We also found out that she was ex-post facto deleting official records in the Somali media from a trip to Somalia in 2016. For example, we have an incident where she visited the Somali President in his villa and some official photographs were taken by the Somali media service. In that visit her husband was identified as Ahmed Elmi which is her brother. We know that using our facial recognition AI analysis, the individual sitting next to her was Ahmed Hirsi, her current husband. Now what somebody on her behalf I did was they went to the site, deleted the pictures and purged them out of the server. We would like to recover those images. It clearly shows that she has almost a mystical ability to reach into foreign systems and alter those records.
Rod: It seems quite suspicious that one would go and alter records like that if she's not trying to hide something. Do you have any idea what's behind this?
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Yaacov: If you told me that you went to her Facebook page and deleted images, I wouldn't certainly buy that. I would challenge her ability to go to the government run radio station in Mogadishu, access the content management server and delete them. It has multiple administrators. We know, for example, which administrator deleted the records. We also know the maintenance administrator is a clan member of hers and he is pursuing certain political aspirations that Omar has in Somalia. There is something over here that ties her to some official activity in Somalia. She's not doing it on her own. She is not sitting at the, left off in a hotel room clicking on a mouse deleting her images. Someone is doing it for her.
Rod: Yaacov, we really appreciate you taking time to be with us. I hope this isn't the last time that we have you on the show. You are an indispensable source of information. We look forward to hearing from you again. I want to direct our listeners to your website: 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.
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