Saturday night, a man named Omar Mateen, who was an American Muslim of Afghan extraction, staged an assault on a gay night club in Orlando and killed 49 people, wounding dozens more, before the police were able to stop him by ending his life.
Since that atrocity, the worst mass shooting in American history, most of what’s come out of our leadership has been blather about guns and has been worthless. But several nuggets of information about Mateen and his background have surfaced, forming a picture which paints that leadership as feckless and delusional.
Mateen was a security guard who it appears had weapons training. He worked for the security firm G4S, formerly known as Wackenhut, since September of 2007. And as an employee of G4S he had a concealed-carry license in Florida.
Mateen’s father said seeing two men making out on a public street while on a trip to Miami “set him off” to massacre gay people, which the father swore up and down was not an action motivated by religion.
It’s worth examining the source of that claim, however, as Mateen’s father is an Afghan immigrant who styles himself a political mover and shaker in that country and has some rather questionable leanings within Afghan politics. He is apparently the host of a periodic broadcast aimed at Afghans from California, and his sympathies sound interestingly near to the Taliban…
But Seddique Mateen appeared to maintain a strong affiliation to Afghanistan, hosting a television show broadcast from California that weighed in on the country’s political affairs.
He also filmed dozens of sparsely viewed, rambling YouTube videos portraying himself as an important Afghan analyst and leader.
In one YouTube video, the elder Mateen expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government.
[Shifting portraits emerge of shooter as authorities seek clues of terror ties]
“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said. “Inshallah the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.”
The “Durand Line issue” is a historically significant one, particularly for members of the Pashtun ethnic group, whose homeland straddles the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Durand Line is that border. It is not clear whether the Mateens are Pashtun. The Afghan Taliban is mostly made up of Pashtuns.
Hot Air has an excellent wrapup of what we know about Siddique Mateen, the father, who actually posted a video on Facebook earlier today saying that “God will punish homosexuals” and therefore people should not as a means of distancing himself from his son’s actions. This man who says he doesn’t believe his son was radicalized has also gone on video in a military uniform and claimed to be the head of an Afghan government in exile as he lambastes U.S. policy in that region opposing the Taliban.
One wonders whether we should take the father’s definition of radicalization seriously.
Mateen’s former coworkers will likely bear some scrutiny. One, a former police officer, said he quit his job with G4S specifically out of harassment from Mateen and a discomfort from being around him.
Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.
Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.
“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”
Gilroy said this shooting didn’t come as a surprise to him.
But then there’s this…
A spokesperson at the St. Lucie Regional Juvenile Detention Center, just outside Fort Pierce, declined to provide The Daily Beast with any information about Mateen or to confirm whether he worked at the facility. The spokesman directed all calls to the State of Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
A spokeswoman there directed all queries to G4S, which released the following statement about Mateen: “We are deeply shocked by this tragic event. We can confirm that Omar Mateen had been employed by G4S since September 10th, 2007. Mateen was off-duty at the time of the incident. He was employed at a gated retirement community in South Florida. Mateen underwent company screening and background checks when he was recruited in 2007 and the check revealed nothing of concern. His screening was repeated in 2013 with no findings.
“We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, as they conduct their investigations. In 2013, we learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were subsequently closed. We were not made aware of any alleged connections between Mateen and terrorist activities, and were unaware of any further FBI investigations. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of this unspeakable tragedy, and their friends and families.”
You would think that a security company which employs somebody who gets investigated for terror ties would at least have that in their personnel files, particularly if a coworker is raising red flags about him. But apparently not in this case.
The 29-year-old American citizen whose parents had immigrated from Afghanistan, had been in regular communication with Moner Mohammed Abu Salha, a fellow Floridian who was a member of al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
In early 2014, Mateen was put under surveillance for possible ties with Abu Salha, the son of a Palestinian father and American mother who left his home state to join jihadists in Syria.
Abu Salha, 22, was trained by Nusra in 2012 before returning to Florida in 2014, when it is believed he met with Mateen.
He returned to Syria several weeks later and released a so-called martyrdom video before his suicide mission in which he ripped up his US passport and called on fellow Americans to join the war.
The two were from the same town in Florida and prayed at the same mosque, the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce.
The FBI case was dropped however, as Ron Hopper, head of the FBI in Orlando, said his office determined that Mateen’s contact with Abu Salha “was minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or threat at that time”.
Mateen also had connections with a former US Marine and undercover FBI agent turned radical Muslim cleric who was released from prison last year.
Marcus Dwayne Robertson, known as Abu Taubah to his follower, managed to convert 36 people during time in prison for arms offenses. Mateen was a member of the Timbuktu Seminary, an educational website run by Robertson that police believe is used to dispense his radical teachings, according to Fox News.
What do we know about the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce? We know this is not their first rodeo when it comes to terrorism, as the Syrian suicide bomber also hailed from that mosque, but we are told by the imam that this whole thing is a colossal shock and there were no indications it was coming.
Rahman would not say Abu Salha was a member of the mosque. He would also not say Mateen was a member. He only said they both worshiped at the mosque.
“This is a coincidence. There is no teaching given about extremism in this mosque. There is nothing coming in the sermon or the speeches,” Rahman said.
Rahman condemns Mateen’s actions, saying it only makes it harder for Muslims in America to worship in peace.
“What is going on is terrifying and we are scared,” Rahman said.
Rahman, a local doctor, says he worries about how this mass shooting will impact how he is treated by people in the community.
“I’m thinking tomorrow when I’m going in, I will be seeing my patient, and I’m thinking what will the people think about me? It’s a crime which happened and I have no contribution. I never though about it. I never supported it. Nothing.”
Rahman says he had no idea Mateen was on the FBI watch list.
He says the FBI has been to the mosque in the past when there have been act of violence tied to Islam across the country. They comply with any investigations.
Except what we also know about the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce is that Sharia Law is taught there, and that the mosque is part of the Shariah Board of America.
So this is the second jihadist to come out of a mosque which practices sharia, and we’re supposed to take the imam at his word that it’s a coincidence.
It certainly appeared that Mateen lived out the sharia lifestyle with his first wife.
Sitora Yusufiy thought she was done with her ex-husband, Omar Mateen.
After a marriage in which she said he beat her, confiscated her paychecks and isolated her in their Florida home, Ms. Yusufiy said she fled in 2009 with the help of her parents. The last she remembers of Mr. Mateen is that he grabbed her arm to stop her from getting into the car and leaving him forever.
“He tried to reach in his back pocket, I don’t know if he had a gun with him, but my mother felt that and she screamed out,” Ms. Yusufiy said at an interview at the home where she lives with her fiancé, here in the steep green hillsides above Boulder. “That was the last time I saw him.”
Early Sunday morning, his presence ripped back into her life when Ms. Yusufiy’s mother called her to say that the man she had met through Myspace in 2008 and quickly married had committed the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
“I had let that chapter of my life go a long time ago,” she said. “It’s somebody that hurt me and traumatized me.”
She spent part of Sunday being interviewed by F.B.I. agents, who were inside the home for about an hour. Although officials said they had investigated Mr. Mateen in 2013 and 2014, Ms. Yusufiy said that Sunday was the first time she had been approached by law enforcement officials to talk about him.
The first wife was an Uzbek immigrant, and she comes off as a nut – she’s a former hairdresser at a high-end New York City salon, and she’s currently engaged to a “medicine man” and rainforest activist from Brazil with whom she works. She currently lives in Boulder.
After that divorce, Mateen took a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Twice. In case you want to believe any of this stuff about how he’s “not very religious.”
Mateen’s current wife is estranged from him. She moved out six months ago and may have gone into hiding.
So the picture we have here is of an Afghan immigrant and Taliban advocate whose son attends a sharia mosque and pals around with terrorists, who’s taught the sharia line about homosexuals and what should be done to them, whose personal relationships display a highly volatile personality complete with unhinged attitudes about people named as undesirables in Islamic scripture, who was on the FBI’s radar on multiple occasions and yet nobody ever thought to keep tabs on him when he was building an arsenal to take to that gay night club. And nobody thought to pay attention to what’s going on at that mosque.
We’re not saying political correctness killed those 49 people. We are suggesting that this guy probably would have been questioned a third time by the FBI if somebody had bothered to connect some dots before Saturday night.