The killer of Sunday night’s shooting at the Pulse Gay Nightclub has already been identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen. New information has since surfaced regarding his background and that of his family. In the most recent controversy involving the Mateen family, an apology video by Omar’s father, Seddique Mateen, has met a lot of backlash over his homophobic comments in the video.
Omar Siddiqui Mateen was a U.S. citizen living in Port St. Lucie, Florida. According to ABC News reports, Mateen is said to have been “on the radar” of U.S. officials, even though he was not part of any major investigation. He was already thought to have been leaning towards Islamic extremism. After the shootings on Sunday, there have been reports that Omar had called 911 and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State right before initiating what was to be the worst mass shooting in the history of the United States.
The shooter was born to Afghani immigrants, Seddique Amir Mateen and his wife. Before the shooting, he worked as a consultant for a security firm. It was his father who first broke the news that Omar’s shooting had more to do with homophobia than with religious extremism. In the statement, he had claimed that Omar had been angry ever since he had seen two gay men kissing in public last month. Mir Siddiqui’s latest attempt to apologize for his son’s gruesome act has met a lot of backlash for a homophobic comment, claiming that it is Allah’s job to punish homosexuals, and Omar was wrong to take matters to his own hand.
“God will punish those involved in homosexuality … [it’s] not an issue that humans should deal with.”
Siddique has also expressed sorrow over the events, claiming in the video that if he had known what his son had planned, he would have stopped him.
“I am not aware what motivated him. I didn’t know he had this much hatred in his heart.”
Siddique Amir Mateen has been revealed to be a Taliban supporter and had once made a video claiming that God would punish all homosexuals. According to CBS News, he hosts a popular pro-Taliban talk show that targets an audience of Pashtun Afghans across America and Europe. An analyst for CBS, Ahmad Mukhtar, says that Amir Mateen sounds delusional in most of his videos, believing that he runs a government in exile that is soon to take over Kabul.
Omar Siddiqui Mateen attacked the Orlando Gay bar late on Sunday. The shooting began at around 2 a.m. For almost three hours, the nightclub turned into a hostage playground for Mateen, during which time he killed almost 50 people inside the gay nightclub. The situation was brought under control after the police intervened and shot Mateen down. After he was shot dead, frightened clubbers rushed out, helping the wounded and trying to reach their families and friends. Orlando Police Chief John Mina had initially estimated a death toll of 20, but the final figures had turned out to be much grimmer. This video shows one of the dead victim’s Snapchat video from inside the Pulse Gay Club right when the shooting began.
The whole world has come together in support of the victims of the Pulse Bar Shootings, with messages of support pouring all over social media.
[Image via MySpace]