The son of a Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack victim has delivered pointed criticism at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), responding to the freshman congresswoman’s “some people did something” remarks she used to describe the deadliest terrorist attacks in American history that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people.
While wearing a black shirt with “Some people did something,” Nicholas Haros Jr. took the podium to read out names of victims during the 18th-anniversary memorial service of the attacks at Ground Zero in New York City. Haros Jr. lost his 76-year-old mother, Frances, on the day when terrorist-piloted planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and on a field in Pennsylvania.
Haros Jr. started his speech remembering his mother, friends, and co-workers who had died. He then went on to respond to Omar’s remarks, which were widely viewed as an attempt to trivialize the deadly attacks.
“‘Some people did something’ said a freshman congresswoman in Minnesota to support the creation of CAIR,” Haros Jr. said without naming Omar. “Today I’m here to respond to you exactly who did what to whom.”
“Madam, objectively speaking, we know who and what was done. There is no uncertainty about that. Why your confusion?” he continued. “On that day 19 Islamic terrorists, members of al Qaeda killed over 3,000 people and caused billions of dollars of economic damage. Is that clear? But as to whom, I was attacked. Your relatives and friends were attacked. Our constitutional freedoms were attacked and our nation’s founding on Judeo-Christian principles did. That’s what some people did.”
“Got that now?” he added.
He then called for Omar to “show respect” and honor the victims of the attacks. “Please: American patriotism and your position demand it,” he added.
Earlier in the year, Omar received widespread condemnation after part of a speech she made at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser, during which she said the radical Muslim group was founded after the terror attacks, surfaced on social media.
“CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties,” Omar said, according to the video that circulated online.
CAIR describes itself as a “non-profit, grassroots membership organization … established to promote a positive image of Islam and Muslims in America,” but allegedly has ties to several extremist Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007, CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in funding the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, as revealed in the case against Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. The United Arab Emirates designated CAIR a terrorist organization in 2014.
Omar immediately received backlash for the comments from multiple politicians, congressional candidates, first responders, and from the president himself.
Several days after the speech emerged, Trump posted on his Twitter “WE WILL NEVER FORGET!” accompanied by a video compilation of footage from the terrorist attacks. The video ends with the text, “September 11, 2001, We Remember.”
WE WILL NEVER FORGET! pic.twitter.com/VxrGFRFeJM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2019
Along with Trump, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) expressed disbelief over the comments.
“First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as ‘some people who did something,’” Crenshaw wrote on social media on April 9. “Unbelievable.”
First Member of Congress to ever describe terrorists who killed thousands of Americans on 9/11 as “some people who did something”.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) April 9, 2019
Similarly, the chair of the Republican National Committee, Ronna McDaniel, called her comments a “brazen display of disrespect.”
“Ilhan Omar isn’t just anti-Semitic–she’s anti-American. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives to Islamic terrorists on 9/11, yet Omar diminishes it as: “Some people did something.” Democrat leaders need to condemn her brazen display of disrespect,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Omar’s comments also prompted longtime police officer and decorated army veteran Chris Kelley to announce his bid for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District against the progressive congresswoman. In a previous interview with The Epoch Times, Kelley said he was first motivated to run against the freshman congresswoman following her trivialization of the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks.
“It was a slap in the face to the people that lost their lives there and the first responders in general,” said Kelley, who was deployed once during Operation Desert Storm and twice during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He said the comments were disrespectful to the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives and first responders who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Omar defended her comments in an interview with Al Jazeera back in July.
“Those [9/11] are horrific attacks. There’s no question about that, that’s not a debatable thing,” she said.
“Innocent Americans lost their lives that day, we all mourn their deaths. It is one of the most devastating days of American life, of my life, of my family’s, of the families that lost their family members. That’s not debatable, and I think it’s quite disgusting that people even question that and want to debate that.”
In a Twitter post on Sept. 11, Omar wrote: “September 11th was an attack on all of us. We will never forget the thousands of Americans who lost their lives in the largest terror attack on U.S. soil. I will continue to fight to make sure we care for the first responders and families who lost loved ones.”