Late last night, the father of the ISIS-inspired terrorist that killed 49 people in Orlando spoke publicly about his son for the first time. Siddique Mateen told ABC News that he didn’t notice anything unusual from his son Omar when the father saw him just hours before the terrorist attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub. But that might be because the father isn’t exactly on the square himself:
“I didn’t see anything irregular with him. I saw him yesterday [Saturday] afternoon,” Seddique Mateen said. “It makes me upset, it makes me mad that I didn’t see anything unusual.” …
“I don’t think he was radicalized,” Seddique Mateen said. “That’s what my gut feeling tells me.”
Omar Mateen’s ex-wife told the media after the shooting that the terrorist regularly beat her during their marriage, to the point where her family had to “rescue” her from Marteen four months after their wedding. His father said he never heard that before yesterday:
As a husband, however, she said Omar Mateen was abusive and mentally unstable. When he was angry, he would sometimes rant about homosexuals, Yusufiy said.
“He would be perfectly normal and happy, joking, laughing one minute — the next minute his temper … his body would just [go] totally the opposite,” Yusufiy, 27, told ABC News. “Anger, emotionally violent and that later evolved into abuse, to beating. …
Seddique Mateen said this is the first he’s heard about his son’s abusive behavior toward Yusify. Omar Mateen later remarried and had a 3-year-old son with his new wife. Seddique Mateen said his daughter-in-law is “a typical American” and “a nice lady” who also never showed any signs of radicalism.
Seddique Mateen told ABC News he’s unsure of his son’s possible motive for the attack at Pulse nightclub, which bills itself on its website as “Orlando’s Premier Gay Night Club.” He said he and his wife raised their children to always be accepting of others.
Oh, really? As it turns out, the nut may not have fallen far from the tree. Siddique Mateen followed up this interview with a video on Facebook, reports CBS News, where the elder Mateen regularly broadcasts his pro-Taliban views. Mateen takes this particular moment to explain that “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” although in the context of telling others not to attack them:
In the video posted early Monday, Seddique Mateen says his son was well-educated and respectful to his parents, and that he was “not aware what motivated him to go into a gay club and kill 50 people.”
The elder Mateen says he was saddened by his son’s actions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
He then adds: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” saying it’s, “not an issue that humans should deal with.”
Siddique Mateen also hosts a show on a US cable outlet, Afghan TV, aimed at Western audiences. On both platforms, Mateen has campaigned for the Taliban, and at times has promoted himself as the leader of a government in exile. In the words of one CBS analyst, Siddique seems delusional:
A senior Afghan intelligence source tells CBS News correspondent Lara Logan that the show is watched by some in people in Afghanistan but the primary audience is ethnic Pashtun Afghans living in the U.S. and Europe.
The Taliban Islamic extremist movement is comprised almost entirely of Pashtuns, and Mateen’s show takes a decidedly Pashtun nationalistic, pro-Taliban slant; full of anti-U.S. rhetoric and inflammatory language aimed at non-Pashtuns and at Pakistan, the source told Logan. …
In his Facebook videos, the alleged gunman’s father has often appeared wearing a military uniform and declaring himself the leader of a “transitional revolutionary government” of Afghanistan. He claims to have his own intelligence agency and close ties to the U.S. Congress — assets he says he will use to subvert Pakistani influence and take control of Afghanistan.
In other words, we have the Taliban activist insisting that his ISIS-supporting son wasn’t radicalized. Take that for what it’s worth. Meanwhile, maybe it’s worth taking a long, hard look at whether Siddique Mateen should remain in the US any longer.