Brief Profile/Biography/History Of Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen


606x340_335418Omar Mateen aspired to be a police officer and had once applied to join a police academy. He worked at a centre for juvenile delinquents as a correctional officer.

More recently he was an armed guard for a gated retirement community in South Florida.

A former co-worker said that Mateen’s anger was “constant.”

He was known to the FBI who said he was investigated for suspected ties to Islamist militants.

Mental health issues

His former wife Sitora Yusifiy spoke about of his mental health issues.

“A few months after we were married I saw his instability and I saw that he was bipolar and would get mad out of nowhere,” Yusifiy said. “That’s when I started worrying about my safety and then after a few months he started abusing me physically, very often and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them and I tried to see the good in then even then but my family was very tuned into it and decided to visit me and rescue me out of that situation.”

Islamic Centre

Imam Syed Shafeed from the Islamic Center in Fort Pierce said Mateen attended prayer services there several times a week.

“I’m saying that he (Omar Mateen) was very quiet,” said Shafeed. “He would come the last minute and he would leave the first minute. And he would not talk to anybody. And when somebody would shake hands with him he would smile and shake hands with them and he would leave. And he would bring the five-year-old son with him and the son would be playing around him and he would be busy with his prayer and then he would take his son on his shoulders and he would just leave.”


Mateen was an armed security officer for the controversial security firm G4S. The company was trying to ascertain whether any guns used in the attack were related to Mateen’s work, said a spokesman who declined to be named.

An FBI spokesman said on Sunday that FBI agents had twice interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments to co-workers indicating he supported militant groups, but neither interview led to evidence of criminal activity.

G4S has come under fire from rights advocates for providing services to Israeli prisons holding Palestinian detainees, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation said in 2014 it sold its stake in G4S.

Three of the firm’s security guards were acquitted of manslaughter charges in 2014 in the cardiac arrest death of an Angolan aboard a flight from London whom they were repatriating to his native country.

The British government said in 2014 that G4S would repay millions for overcharging it on a contract to tag criminals with monitoring devices.

The use of private security firms has risen sharply since the 9/11 attacks, said Paul Goldenberg, who sits on the US Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council and advises American Jewish organizations on security matters.

In many cases, private security guards are not particularly well-trained or well-paid, and do not receive a second background check in the years after they are hired, Goldenberg said, noting most states did not regulate the industry.

A guard might be watching over an empty warehouse one day, and a religious institution or school, with entirely different security concerns, the next, he said.Omar-Mateen

He was a body builder and a security guard, a religious man who attended the local mosque and wanted to become a police officer.

Early Sunday, 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded, police said.

Mateen was the son of an Afghan immigrant who had a talk show in the United States, the nature of which was not entirely clear: A former Afghan official said the program was pro-Taliban and a former colleague said it was enthusiastically pro-American.

He attended evening prayer services at the city’s Islamic Center three to four times a week, most recently with his young son, said Imam Syed Shafeeq Rahman. Although he was not very social, he also showed no signs of violence, Rahman said. He said he last saw Mateen on Friday.

“When he finished prayer he would just leave,” Rahman told The Associated Press. “He would not socialize with anybody. He would be quiet. He would be very peaceful.”

He was also bipolar, Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, told reporters in Boulder, Colorado.

“He was mentally unstable and mentally ill,” Yusufiy said. Although records show the couple didn’t divorce for two years after the marriage, Yusiufiy said she was actually only with Mateen for four months because he was abusive. She said he would not let her speak to her family and that family members had to come and literally pull her out of his arms.

Authorities immediately began investigating whether Sunday’s attack was an act of terrorism. A law enforcement official said the gunman made a 911 call from the nightclub professing allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The law enforcement official is familiar with the investigation but was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Yusufiy said she was “devastated, shocked, started shaking and crying” when she heard about the shooting, but she attributed the violence to Mateen’s mental illness, not any alliance with terrorist groups.

Rahman agreed.

“My personal opinion is that this has nothing to do with ISIS,” he said.

However, one former co-worker has said he wasn’t surprised turned to violence. In an interview with Florida Today, Daniel Gilroy said his conversations with Mateen were unsettling and Mateen was prone to making racist and homophobic comments.

Gilroy, a former police officer, said he eventually quit his job at G4S Security in 2015 because of the toxic work environment and Mateen’s stalking: his co-worker would sometimes send him 20 to 30 text messages and up to 15 phone messages per day.

“The company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”


YoutubeSeddique Mateen, who has also been referred to as Mir Seddique in news reports, hosts the Durand Jirga Show on a television channel called Payam-e Afghan, which broadcasts from California.

Seddique Mir Mateen, the father of the alleged shooter, is a life insurance salesman who started a group in 2010 called Durand Jirga, Inc., according to Qasim Tarin, a businessman from California who was a Durand Jirga board member. The name refers to the Durand line, the long disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Tarin said Seddique Mir Mateen had a television show on which they discussed issues facing Afghanistan.

“It’s shocking,” he said about the shooting. “(Omar Mateen’s) father loves this country.”

Some of Seddique Mir Mateen’s shows were taped and later posted on YouTube. During one episode, a sign in the background read: “Long live the U.S.A! Long live Afghanistan. … Afghans are the best friends to the U.S.A.”

But a former Afghan official said the “Durand Jirga Show” appears on Payam-e-Afghan, a California-based channel that supports ethnic solidarity with the Afghan Taliban, which are mostly Pashtun. Viewers from Pashtun communities in the United States regularly call in to the channel to espouse support for Pashtun domination of Afghanistan over the nation’s minorities, including Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks, the official said.

My personal opinion is that this has nothing to do with ISIS

The “Durand Jirga Show” expresses support for the Taliban, has an anti-Pakistan slant, complains about foreigners in Afghanistan and criticizes U.S. actions there, the official said. Seddique Mir Mateen lavished praise on current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he appeared on the show in January 2014, but he has since denounced the Ghani government, according to the official, who said that on Saturday, Seddique Mateen appeared on the show dressed in military fatigues and used his program to criticize the current Afghan government.

He also announced on that show that he would run in the next Afghan presidential election, said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be linked to coverage of the shooting.

In 2013, Omar Mateen made inflammatory comments to co-workers, and he was interviewed twice, FBI agent Ronald Hopper said. He called those interviews inconclusive. In 2014, Hopper said, officials found that Mateen had ties to an American suicide bomber. He described the contact as minimal, saying it did not constitute a threat at the time.

Mateen purchased at least two firearms legally within the last week or so, according to Trevor Velinor of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Mateen had no criminal record. Yusufiy said he wanted to be a police officer and had applied to the police academy. Mateen was a security guard at the G4S company, which identifies itself on its website as “the leading global integrated security company.”

Rahman said he knew Mateen and his family since the shooter was a young boy. Playful as a child, he became more serious as an adult, Rahman said. He spoke both English and Farsi, and was into body building. He was not, as far as the imam could see, someone who would ever commit such a gruesome act of mass violence.

“It was totally unexpected,” Rahman said.

Credits:  files from the National Post,

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