Seddique Mateen, father of Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, has said that his son’s mass shooting was triggered by the sight of two gay men kissing. Seddique Mateen made the claim in a phone interview with NBC News after police and FBI confirmed that his son, Omar Mateen, 29, was the shooter who killed about 50 people and wounded about 54 at the Pulse nightclub, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.
According to Omar Mateen’s father, the shooting “had nothing to do with religion.” He claimed the nightclub massacre happened because his son was angered after seeing two men kissing on the street some months ago.
“We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking,” he said. “We are in shock like the whole country.”
Ex-wife of man suspected of killing 50 in a Orlando club says he was violent and mentally unstable - Washington Post https://t.co/siAORhspCa— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) June 12, 2016
But soon after he spoke with NBC News, information emerged that Seddique had hosted a political show, the Durand Jirga Show, aired on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California. He also reportedly runs a nonprofit organization registered in Port St. Lucie, Florida, as Durand Jirga, and manages a YouTube channel under his name Seddique Mateen.
He has uploaded to the channel several videos in which he discusses in the Dari language diverse political issues affecting Afghanistan.
According to the Washington Post, Seddique “holds strong political views.” He once expressed sympathy for the Afghan Taliban and denounced the Pakistani government.
“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said in a video. “Inshallah [“God willing”] the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.”
The Washington Post explains that the “Durand Line” was a reference to the borderline dividing the homeland of the Pashtun tribe between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Most members of the Afghan Taliban are Pashtuns.
The Durand Line was drawn during British rule in the region and has been the subject of political agitation by the Pashtuns who desire unity.
In another video, Seddique strangely announced his plan to run for president of Afghanistan. But it was noted that Seddique sounded incoherent and his thought process disorganized in the video.
Information emerging about Seddique’s son, Omar Mateen, the Orlando shooter, reveals he was born in New York. He had been on the FBI watch list for some time but not with regard to any specific issue.
It is also being reported that Omar held a Florida security officer’s license and state firearms license.
CBS News reports that Omar called 911 just before the shooting. He identified himself to the operator, mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers who were involved in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Meanwhile, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, confirmed reports that the gunman had pledged allegiance to ISIS.
“What I’ve heard from the Department of Homeland Security this morning is that, according to local police, he made a pledge of allegiance to ISIL (ISIS),” Schiff said.
“[He] was heard praying in a foreign language and I don’t know if this was at some point during the course of the shooting but that’s what I’m hearing, obviously second hand, coming ultimately from local police,” he said.
“This attack is so painfully reminiscent of the terrible attack at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, and other ISIS-inspired attacks in recent years,” he continued.
Schiff concluded that the shooting was “highly indicative of an ISIL-inspired attack… whether this attack was also ISIS-directed, remains to be determined.”
Omar Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub at about 2 a.m. on Sunday, armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun, and began firing on people on the dance floor.
Shooter in Orlando attack legally purchased a handgun and a long gun within the last few days, ATF says. https://t.co/rj5mvtuu1f— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 12, 2016
The suspect was killed after he exchanged fire with a SWAT team that entered the club at about 5 a.m. About nine officers entered the club after using a “controlled explosion” to distract the gunman.
By the time he was shot dead he had killed at least 50 people.
Medical staff at the Orlando Regional Medical Center reportedly said the death toll could still rise with more than 50 people — some in critical condition — still undergoing treatment.
The shooting has been described as the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
The FBI said the shooting was being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism to determine whether Mateen had accomplices or whether he acted as a lone wolf.
Meanwhile, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the shooting through its news organization, Aamaq Agency. According to the agency, the shooting was “carried out by an Islamic State fighter.”
[Photo By Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP]