Justice

The Orlando Terrorist's Father Posted a Video Before His Son Opened Fire

June 13th 2016

By:
Aimee Kuvadia

We're learning more about the father of the man who opened fire on an Orlando, Florida, LGBT nightclub on early Sunday morning, killing at least 49 people and injuring 53 more.

Seddique Mateen

Seddique Mir Mateen posted a video to Facebook Monday morning that may provide some insight into his son Omar Mateen's motivations for committing the horrific act. Orlando police shot and killed the younger Mateen during the standoff.

Describing his son as well-educated and respectful toward his parents, Seddique Mateen says in the video that he doesn't know what could have motivated Omar to carry out the massacre.

Omar Mateen

But then he adds, "God will punish those involved in homosexuality," as it's "not an issue that humans should deal with," CBS News reports.

The father told NBC News that he hates "ISIS" and "terrorism," and that "they should be destroyed." But that doesn't seem to be how he feels about the Afghan Taliban, if the numerous videos of him online are any indication.

Seddique Mateen hosts a television show, which broadcasts from California for an Afghan TV station. Covering politics in the home country and expressing anti-American views, it's predominantly watched by ethnic Pashtun Afghans residing in the U.S. and Europe, although some people in Afghanistan tune in as well, a senior Afghan intelligence source told CBS News reporter Lara Logan.

The show derives its name from the "Durand Line Issue," which is especially important to Pashtuns, the ethnic group whose home region straddles the Afghani-Pakistani border, called the Durand Line and established by the British in the 19th century. The border, inherited by Pakistan following its independence, has been long contested for politically dividing the Pashtun people between two countries, The Washington post reports.

Seddique Mateen

The Afghan Taliban comprises mostly Pashtuns, and his show appears pro-Taliban and Pashtun nationalistic in nature, according to The Post. In one video, he thanks the Afghan Taliban while condemning the Pakistani government. Though it's still not clear whether the Mateens are Pashtun.

What is evident is that Seddique Mateen's ties to Afghanistan may be deep-rooted. In 2014, he campaigned for the current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, a moderate, and hosted him on his show. But he's since renounced the leader in broadcasts and videos posted to Facebook, CBS News reports.

Likewise, mere hours before his son opened fire on a gay nightclub, Seddique Mateen posted to Facebook a video entitled "Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique Mateen" in which, pretending to be the Afghani president and dressed in army garb, he orders the arrest of several political leaders in Afghanistan. In another video, this time on his YouTube channel, he declares his candidacy for Afghani presidency a year after the elections in Afghanistan had already taken place.

 

Ahmad Muktar of CBS News viewed the videos, none of which were in English, and determined that it's possible Seddique Mateen is delusional. "He thinks he runs a government in exile and will soon take the power in Kabul in a revolution," Mukhtar said.

The father maintains that his son Omar had no ties to radical Islam, even though he called 911 prior to the attack and pledged allegiance to ISIS, who's since taken credit for the massacre.

“I think he just wanted to boast of himself,” Seddique Mateen told The Washington Post. “No radicalism, no. He doesn’t have a beard even. . . . I don’t think religion or Islam had anything to do with this.”