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|“||The real Muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west ... You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes...now taste the Islamic State's vengeance.||„|
|~ Mateen in a Facebook post made the morning of the massacre.|
Omar Mir Seddique Mateen (November 16, 1986 – June 12, 2016) was an Afghan-American mass murderer who killed 49 people and injured 53 others at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub in Orlando Florida before being killed in a shootout against the police. Before the shooting, police had called the FBI to check him out due to him claiming he was a part of the radical jihadist organization ISIS in 2013 and early 2014. Before the attack, Mateen was a respected security guard working at the bar.
At the time, the shooting was the deadliest mass shooting in American history, but was surpassed by the Las Vegas shooting perpetrated by Stephen Paddock a year later. The attack was also the deadliest incident of violence against LGBT people in U.S. history, and the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since September 11, 2001. He said the shooting was "triggered" by an airstrike in Iraq that killed Abu Waheeb, an ISIS commander, six weeks before.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on June 12th, 2016, Mateen entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and began shooting. At 2:22 a.m., he made a 9-1-1 call in which he pledged allegiance to ISIS; referenced Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and mentioned Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an acquaintance of his who died in a suicide bombing in Syria for the Al-Nusra Front in 2014. According to FBI officials, Mateen made two other 911 calls during the shooting. He also called News 13 of Orlando and identified himself as the nightclub shooter; The Washington Post reported that “he had carried out the Pulse attack for the Islamic State”. Mateen took hostages after police arrived and engaged in a gunfight with him. At approximately 5:00 a.m., police shot and killed Mateen, ending the attack.
Omar Mir Mateen was born on November 16th, 1986 in New Hyde Park, New York to Afghan parents Mir Seddique and Shahla Mateen. Seddique emigrated from Afghanistan to the United States in the 1980s and worked as a secret informant for the FBI periodically between January 2005 and June 2016. Mir reportedly endured abuse from Shahla, a claim highlighted by a 2002 incident in which she purportedly attacked Seddique whilst he was brushing his teeth. In 1991, the family moved from New York to Port St. Lucie, Florida. Those who knew the Mateens described them as being “all-American”, moderate Muslims.
School Behavior & Interactions
Mateen's disturbing tendencies came to surface during his attendance at Mariposa Elementary School in St. Lucie County, Florida. Those who attended school with the perpetrator recall Mateen as having a fixation with violence from an early age.
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- As a child, Mateen idolized Osama bin Laden and cheered in support of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. There were even incidents where he claimed that bin Laden was his uncle.
- His father Zir Siddique was an FBI informant and Taliban supporter who hosted a program on an Afghan satellite channel.
- There are multiple documented incidents of Mateen bullying classmates in elementary, middle, and high school.
- He reportedly began bringing a gun to college classes in the wake of the Virginia Tech Shooting.
- He was reportedly physically and verbally abusive towards his first wife, Sitora Alisherzoda Yusufiy.
- Though he was never formally diagnosed, his first wife believed that he was bipolar and also reported that he had been addicted to steroids for a period of time.
- Some believe that Mateen may have been a closeted homosexual or bisexual, as he allegedly had accounts on apps such as Grindr and that a secondary motive for the shooting may have been out of self-hate. This has never been proven and is merely speculation. Though Mateen had shown signs of homophobia, it has been confirmed that he did not pick Pulse for the shooting because of its clientele, and that his sole motivation for the attack was on behalf of ISIS.
- Prior to pledging allegiance to ISIS, Mateen claimed to be a member of Hezbollah.
- He had originally considered Walt Disney World Resort to perpetrate the shooting before settling on Pulse.