News and Commentary

5 Things You Need to Know About the Father of Orlando Jihadist Omar Mateen

Hours after his son went into a gay nightclub in Orlando and murdered dozens and injured dozens more, Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, insisted that the heinous act “had nothing to do with religion.” But new evidence that has emerged about the elder Mateen’s Muslim ideology and radical political views suggests otherwise.

Here are five things we’ve learned about the Orlando jihadist’s father.

1. One day after the attack he declared that God will “punish” homosexuals.

Monday morning, just one day after his son’s terror attack on the Orlando LGBT community, Seddique Mateen posted a video on Facebook in which he declared that “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” but adding that it is “not an issue that humans should deal with.” In the video, he went on to express sorrow that his son chose to carry out his jihadist attack during the Muslim holiday Ramadan.

In an interview with Sky News the next day, Mateen had the gall to blame the nightclub for his son’s jihadist violence, adding that law enforcement also shared part of the blame for his son’s slaughter of innocence because they took too long to arrive.

“The first thing I want to say is that club should have had good security,” Mateen told Sky News on Tuesday. “The club, that four or 300 people were coming, they should have had good security. If there was good security, he wouldn’t have had this opportunity. They should [have] had a good security and why [did] the law enforcement [come] so late?”​

2. He said his son’s actions “had nothing to do with religion.”

Despite regularly attending a Florida mosque with Omar, Seddique insisted that religion had no influence on his son’s actions and claimed he was “not aware of what motivated him,” other than saying that he was recently enraged when he saw two gay men kissing.

“We were in Downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” claimed Seddique Sunday. “They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ And then we were in the men’s bathroom and men were kissing each other.”

Mateen has repeated his absurd “nothing to do with religion” talking point despite a flood of evidence of his son’s clear radicalization, including his pledge of allegiance to ISIS and his final Facebook posts in which he declared that “real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west.”

3. He is known for espousing “anti-American views.”

CBS News reports that Seddique, an Afghan granted asylum in the United States, “has well-known anti-American views” and “regularly attended Friday prayers at a Florida mosque with his son.”

The senior Mateen has not just influenced his son, for years he has hosted a program for a satellite Afghan TV station based out of California called the “Durand Jirga Show” that caters to the Afghan diaspora in the U.S. and frequently features overtly anti-American rhetoric.

4. His TV show is aimed at a group associated with the Taliban Islamic extremist movement.

CBS News reports that a senior Afghan intelligence source said the primary audience of Mateen’s show is “ethnic Pashtun Afghans living in the U.S. and Europe.” The Pashtuns are the group of which the Taliban Islamic extremist movement is almost entirely comprised.

According to the intelligence source, 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.”

5. He has become increasingly extreme.

Mateen appears to have grown increasingly extreme over the years, eventually dressing in military uniform and declaring himself to be the leader of the Afghanistan’s “transitional revolutionary government” and claiming to have connections in the U.S. Congress and his own intelligence operation.

Image below: screenshot of Mateen’s “Durand Jirga Show”

This article has been updated and reformatted