Somali President to visit Minneapolis December 15

Ilhan Omar was arrested during a 2013 visit of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to the city.

The sitting President of the Federal Republic of Somalia will hold an event at the Minneapolis Convention Center on December 15, according to a report in the Sahan Journal today.

President Mohamud began his current term in May 2022. The Journal reports that he last visited Minneapolis in 2014, during a previous stint in office.

It was in connection to a 2013 visit of Pres. Mohamud to the city that now Congresswoman Ilhan Omar was arrested and charged with trespassing, breaking into the lobby at The Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, where Mohamud was spending the night.

Official Hennepin County booking photo. Courtesy AlphaNews

In the runup to Omar’s first race for Congress, in 2018, AlphaNews reported on her 2013 arrest,

[Then] State Rep. Ilhan Omar was arrested in 2013 for trespassing and booked at Hennepin County Jail “to prevent further criminal conduct,” according to a newly uncovered police report.

The incident took place on January 18, 2013 following an event at the Minneapolis Convention Center featuring former Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The Somali president was set to stay the night at the Hotel Ivy, causing large groups of Somalis to follow the presidential convoy to the hotel, including Omar.

AlphaNews includes a copy of the police report with their story. Omar and others protested Mohamud’s appearance and were ejected from the hotel, en masse. She and a handful of other protesters snuck back into the hotel,

Ten minutes after the original encounter, the officer reports finding Omar seated in a different area of the lobby. According to the officer’s account, Omar “remained defiant” as he informed her that she would be arrested for trespassing if she didn’t leave.

She was taken by the police to Hennepin County Jail to prevent further harassment of the President.

Fast forward to 2022 and Mohamud is back in office and again appearing at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Now-Rep. Omar is among his invited guests, the Sahah Journal reports. One would hope by now that the two political opponents have buried the hatchet.

The Journal reports,

that security will be tight: Attendees should be prepared to pass through metal detectors and to have their bags checked.

Here’s hoping for a less dramatic visit this year.