barack obama
Former US President Barack Obama was captured in a picture with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in 2005.Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A journalist has released a 13 year-old-picture of the former US President Barack Obama which he claims could have cost him his presidency. The photo, captured in 2005, shows Obama posing with Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the controversial group, Nation of Islam (NOI). 

The journalist, Askia Muhammad, told Trice Edney News Wire, that the delay in releasing the picture was because he 'gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy' out of concern for  Obama who was planning to run for the presidency at that time. He even claimed that if the image was released at that time, then it could have 'made a difference' and would have been 'damaging politically' for the then-Illinois Senator.

The picture was taken at the Congressional Black Caucus meeting which was an event kept under wraps. As per reports on Daily Mail, the photograph was taken at a time when the conspiracy theories about the nationality and religion of Obama were the talk of the town.

Farrakhan, a leader of the controversial group, NOI, has often made anti-semitic remarks in the past. Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that focuses on civil rights has called NOI as a 'hate group'.

Interestingly, in March 2016, Farrakhan had also praised the current US President Donald Trump as the only candidate during presidential elections who didn't take financial assistance from the Jewish community, Daily Mail reported.

When asked about why he took 13 years to release the picture, Askia Muhammad claimed that he feared for his life. He reportedly gave the photo to Farrakhan's son-in-law and chief of staff but kept a copy for himself. "Realizing that I had given it up, I mean, it was sort of like a promise to keep the photograph secret," Muhammad told Talking Point Memo, the news organization that published the photo on Thursday.

He had apparently kept the photo a secret till Obama secured his Democratic nomination for president up until he finished his second term.

As per reports, when Farrakhan admitted that Obama visited his house in Chicago, the journalist said that he "felt a little more at ease". He also admitted that when he was in the possession of the photo, he feared for his life and felt that someone might break into his apartment for the picture.

Here's what the Twitterati thought about the controversial picture: