The father of Omar Mateen insists his son was no Islamic radical — and that he had no clue of his son’s plot to murder dozens at an Orlando gay nightclub.
In a video interview with the Washington Post, Seddique Mir Mateen said his son had stopped by his Port St. Lucie home the day before the shooting. “He was well-behaved. His appearance was perfect,” he said. “I didn’t see any sign of worrying or being upset or nervous.”
The elder Mateen also released a video on his Facebook page, in which he hinted at his own leanings toward gays. Speaking in the Dari language — in front of an Afghanistan flag — he apologized for his son’s acts, never knowing why his “son had hatred in his heart.”
The BBC translated Seddique Mateen as saying: “The issue of homosexuality and punishment for that is up to God alone. This is not the hands of human beings.”
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The Post and CBS news translated the video as saying: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality.”
The videos were published online one day after Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Police officers shot and killed the 29-year-old security guard, who legally bought an assault rifle and handgun used in the attack.
During a standoff, Mateen called police to pledge support to the Islamic State terrorist group, which has targeted gays while holding large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria. Federal authorities are now investigating whether Mateen has any direct ties to ISIS, or was merely self-radicalized.
His father is also under federal scrutiny.
On his Facebook page, Seddique Mateen has posted rambling videos in which he talks about affairs in his native Afghanistan. The clips portray him denouncing the Pakistani government and pledging his support for the Taliban.
Not long after the shooting on Sunday, Seddique Mateen told NBC News that he believed his son was angry about gays after having seen two men kiss at Bayside Marketplace in downtown Miami.
In his interview with the Post, he continued to insist that his son was not motivated by Islam.
“I think he just wanted to boast of himself,” he said. “No radicalism, no. He doesn’t have a beard even . . . I don’t think religion or Islam had anything to do with this.”