Omar Mateen’s full name is Omar Mir Seddique Mateen. He was born in New York, the son of two Afghan immigrants. Although eventually he would embrace the title of ISIS fighter, he had no criminal record prior to Sunday and easily passed a background check. Mateen has worked as a security guard in Ft. Pierce, Florida, for the last nine years. He held a Florida security officer license and a state firearms license, according to TMZ. CNN reports that Mateen guarded the courthouse at Port St. Lucie. He was employed by a large security company called G4S. The company is cooperating with the investigation.
Omar Mateen was married to his first wife from April 2009 until July 2011, according to the Daily Beast. They met online, and she came from New Jersey to Florida to be with him. Omar lived in Ft. Pierce, Florida, a little over 100 miles from Orlando, in the same apartment complex as his parents.
Omar’s ex-wife, Sitoria Yusufiy, told reporters a harrowing tale at a press conference on Sunday. She described a good relationship with Omar during the early months of their marriage, but her husband changed, becoming abusive and demanding, according to CNN.
“In the beginning, he was a normal being that cared about family, loved to joke, loved to have fun, but then a few months after we were married I saw his instability. I saw that he was bipolar and he would get mad out of nowhere. That’s when I started worrying about my safety.”
Mateen beat Sitoria for not doing the laundry according to his specifications. CNN reports her statements.
“He started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them.”
Omar Mateen tried to alienate Sitoria’s parents and would not allow her to see them. Eventually, her parents came to rescue her. CNN reports her story graphically, with Sitoria explaining how her parents literally dragged her from his clutching arms. She abandoned all her possessions, leaving with only the clothes on her back. The family caught an emergency flight back home. The Yusufiy family also filed a police report describing Omar’s treatment of Sitoria.
Mateen had since remarried and was the father of a small child with his second wife. Apparently, they were still together at the time of the shooting, according to ABC News.
Omar Mateen has been questioned by the FBI both in 2013 and 2014. The first incident involved Omar claiming ISIS ties to his co-workers, but the FBI was unable to substantiate those claims. Special Agent Ronald Hopper told reporters on Sunday that FBI interviews with Omar were inconclusive, as reported by CNN.
“The FBI first became aware of Mateen in 2013 when he made inflammatory comments to co-workers alleging possible terrorist ties, [but investigators] were unable to verify the substance of his comments.”
Later, in 2014, it seemed he had some connection to a suicide bomber, according to CNN.
“We determined that contact was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or threat at that time.”
Omar Mateen was only briefly under investigation. He was not under any sort of continuing surveillance. Mateen was only suspected of being an ISIS sympathizer, and there was no indication he would carry out any sort of attack.
While Omar’s father downplayed the role of religion and radical Muslim activism in his son’s life, Mir Seddique Mateen upon investigation seems to be more than a bit involved in Afghanistan’s politics. While Omar was an American born citizen, his father and mother were not American citizens, and his father was running for office in Afghanistan, according to the Daily Beast.
Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique, was very upset over a territorial border dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He founded a nonprofit organization in Port St. Lucie, Florida, called Durand Jirga Inc., that deals with the issue of returning lands to Afghanistan.
Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, a spokesman for ISIS, has urged Muslims to attack during the month of Ramadan 2016, which is this month.
The Daily Beast quoted al-Adnani.
“Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready… to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers… especially for the fighters and supporters of the caliphate in Europe and America.”
Normally, Ramadan is a month of fasting and prayer for Muslims, but ISIS feels it is an auspicious time to attack enemies especially in the west.
On the night of the attack, Omar Mateen drove a rented van to Pulse. He called 911 on the way and reported to them that he pledged his support to ISIS. In the end, he was taken down by 11 police officers and three deputy sheriffs. It is unclear if his crime was merely inspired by ISIS or directed by them, but ISIS has claimed credit for the attack.
Omar Mateen claimed to have ISIS ties but the FBI has been unable to confirm this.
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