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Life Insurance for Terrorists’ Families?

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Ilhan Omar, Democratic Representative for Cedar Rapids in the Minnesota state legislature.

Legislation to allow life insurance companies to deny paying out on policies taken out by terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Americans passed the Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday.

The bill was passed 127-2 and will now go to the Senate.

The goal of the bill is bill “is to make certain that folks don’t benefit [from terrorism] and this limits the beneficiary to the premiums that were paid in,” according to Democratic  Representative Debra Hilstrom. “It limits the exposure for the insurance company when someone is committing an act of terrorism.”

It was inspired by the case of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook, who had life insurance worth $275,000 before he carried out the attack which killed 14 people in December 2015.

If passed into law, the bill will apply to all life insurance contracts, both future and current.

Two legislators, however, opposed the bill. They were Democrat John Lesch of St. Paul and Ilhan Omar, of Cedar Riverside.

Ilhan Omar was previously feted for becoming Minnesota’s first female Muslim state legislator.

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Elliot Friedland

Elliot Friedland is a research fellow at Clarion Project.