ORLANDO, Fla., June 13 (UPI) — The father of the gunman who killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub spoke favorably of his son in a Facebook post Monday, but added God would punish gay people.
Seddique Mir Mateen, is a Fort Pierce, Fla., resident who hosts a program on a U.S.-based satellite channel aimed at Pashtun Afghans around the world, and has espoused pro-Taliban views.
He said his son, Omar Seddique Mateen, 29, was well educated and respectful to his parents. He added he was “not aware what motivated him to go into a gay club and kill 50 people” and regretted the massacre occurred during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He then noted that “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” adding it is “not an issue that humans should deal with.”
The elder Mateen said his son’s actions were not based on religious faith or radicalism but from fury felt after he saw two men kissing. The ex-wife of the Orlando assailant told The Washington Post, “He was not a stable person,” suggesting a mental illness, and adding he was quick to anger.
In Facebook and YouTube videos, the father can be seen in a military uniform, calling himself the leader of a “transitional revolutionary government” of Afghanistan with its own intelligence agency and close allies in the U.S. Congress.
In the videos, none of which are in English, he says he will undermine Pakistani influence and control Afghanistan. Of particular interest to the elder Mateen is the Durand line, the disputed line of demarcation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, drawn by the British in 1893 to designate Afghan and British spheres of influence.
Immediately prior to the shootings, the father posted a Facebook video in which he pretends to be Afghanistan’s president, calling for the arrest of numerous Afghan politicians. In a recent YouTube appearance, he appears incoherent as he declares his candidacy for the Afghan presidency, a year after the vote was taken.
In another interview, Daniel Gilroy, a former co-worker of the shooter at a security firm, referred to the assailant as “unhinged and unstable.”
Gilroy said the younger Mateen repeatedly made homophobic and racial comments. The former co-worker said he quit his job after his employer offered no help in controlling Mateen, and after Mateen began stalking him through multiple text messages, 20 or 30 a day, and 13 to 15 phone messages per day.
“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said told Florida Today on Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything … he talked of killing people.”