Orlando shooter’s father: ‘What my son did was the act of a terrorist’


In a sharp departure from his earlier statements that Omar Mateen’s Sunday shooting rampage at a gay Orlando nightclub was prompted by anger over the sight of two men kissing, Mateen’s father this morning said he now believes his son’s attack was an act of terrorism.

“What my son did was the act of a terrorist,” said Seddique Mateen.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/orlandoshooting

Mateen, who called the morning press conference, shook the hands of each reporter as they entered, asking that they remove their shoes before entering his Port St. Lucie home.

Remorseful and shaken, the elder Mateen repeatedly put his hand over his heart as he reversed his earlier statements that his son was motivated by homophobia.

“I apologize to the families who lost loved ones,” he said. “What my son did is against humanity.”

Sunday, Mateen had told NBC news that his son “got very angry,” after seeing two men in Miami kiss each other — particularly as Mateen’s own toddler son had witnessed the kiss.

“They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’”

But both he and Omar Mateen’s brother-in-law, Mustafa Abasin, now say there was no evidence that Omar Mateen was hostile to gay individuals. Abasin said of the kissing incident that, “He saw it and said something, but he didn’t go crazy.”

Still, Siddique Mateen had balked at the idea that the mass slaughter his son carried out was the product of loyalty to ISIS, as both Omar Siddique and ISIS claimed. Siddique Mateen’s sometimes-extremist views on Afghan and Pakistani politics included loathing for ISIS.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the elder Mateen, who ran for president of Afghanistan in 2015 from his St. Lucie County home, had praised the Taliban in a YouTube video: “Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in (the) Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said.

But Monday, Mateen said, “I don’t approve of any Taliban activities.”

In fact, the video, Mateen’s run for president and passionate views on Afghan politics center on a century-old border dispute involving Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“He’s obviously against Taliban and ISIS and all that,” said Qasim Tarin, a fellow Afghan expatriate who appeared on Seddique Mateen’s YouTube show and followed him on Facebook.

“I’ve known him for a long time. To his Facebook and all, he is absolutely against ISIS and Pakistanis and, of course, ISI intelligence,” the Pakistani security agency some suspect of involvement in terrorism.

Neither his brother-in-law or his father saw Omar Mateen’s conversion to violence.

Abasin said the Mateen he knew “was a simple person, a simple Muslim.”

Mateen would bring Abasin’s children gifts, playing with them when he visited, said Abasin.

Sitting on his living room couch surrounded by reporters, Siddique Mateen, said, “My son was born in America. He went to school in America. I don’t understand why he did this.”

Mateen, who talked to his son the day before the shooting, said he had not noticed any change in behavior.

“If I had seen anything that showed he was thinking of doing something like this, I would have called law enforcement,” he said.

Abasin had last seen Mateen Friday night at a mosque.

“Everything was fine with him,” said Abasin. “I hadn’t noticed any changes.”

Continued Abasin, “Please, please please, tell everyone I am so sorry for the victims. We are so sorry about this happening.”

Palm Beach Post reporter Lawrence Mower contributed to this story.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Good Samaritan riding Chicago train gives snow boots to homeless man
Good Samaritan riding Chicago train gives snow boots to homeless man

Giving someone the shirt off your back is a time-worn phrase that means performing an act of kindness to help someone. A Chicago man helped a homeless man by giving him the snow boots off his feet, WLS reported. Jessica Bell posted the good Samaritan act on Facebook. She said she was riding a train home last week when she saw Maurice Anderson...
166 passengers forced off plane at Boston airport after collision with de-icing truck
166 passengers forced off plane at Boston airport after collision with de-icing truck

Passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight leaving Boston’s Logan International Airport were forced to disembark Monday after the plane collided with a de-icer and damaged its wing, officials said. Flight 133 was carrying 166 passengers and crew as it prepared for takeoff to Portland, Oregon, officials said. Passengers said they felt the plane hit...
Watch: Bus security camera captures car going airborne in California
Watch: Bus security camera captures car going airborne in California

Dramatic video footage from the security camera of a city bus in Santa Ana, California, shows a car going airborne before it crashed into the second story of a dental office Sunday morning, KTTV reported. The video, obtained by KTTV from the Orange County Transportation Authority, shows a bus traveling through the I-5 underpass near 17th Street in...
With Pence in audience, Maryland pastor denounces vulgarity attributed to Trump
With Pence in audience, Maryland pastor denounces vulgarity attributed to Trump

During Sunday’s service attended by Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, a pastor at a predominantly black church in Maryland denounced racially charged comments that were allegedly made in reference to Haiti and African nations last week by President Donald Trump, WUSA reported Monday. Dr. Maurice Watson is pastor at the predominantly...
JUST IN: Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief rescinds resignation
JUST IN: Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief rescinds resignation

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief Jeff Collins has rescinded his resignation after announcing his departure from the department Friday. The resignation came after allegations of sexual harassment in his department, but the chief’s reason for departure remained unclear.   The Palm Beach Post reported in December that Division...
More Stories