Lone Omar and the FBI in Orlando

The American Civil Liberties Union immediately blamed “Christianity” for this horrific murder.  Why? It is because Christianity rejects homosexual relations as sinful. Thus, it is allegedly responsible for the massacre in Orlando. ACLU forgot that Judaism is even more stringent on the matter than Christianity. This is as foul an accusation as the disgusting voices (from a preacher in Sacramento, California, to a youth activist in Kazan, the Russian Federation) who rejoice in the slayings of “the sodomites.” The latter are in congruence with the choir in the world of Islam that the gays had it coming. As for the perpetrator, therefore, Omar Mateen is a pure shaheed (martyr) of Allah.

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By Marek Jan Chodakiewicz | June 22, 2016

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On Sunday morning, June 13, Omar Mir Siddique Mateen walked into Orlando’s Pulse gay club and mowed 49 people down with his AR-15.  Many more were wounded. The murderer died in a shootout with the police.

Donald Trump immediately blamed “radical Islam” for the massacre. Was he right? Partly – yes.

An extremist caliphatist brand of Islam provided the ideological banner; tortured personality supplied the fuel. The FBI correctly spotted the early warning signs. However, our democratic system of human rights severely limiting our counterintelligence capabilities prevented the Bureau from neutralizing the lethal threat. Thus, the pattern repeats itself, as it had in Boston, and elsewhere.

Here’s a profile of the killer, flowing logically from the FBI’s two investigations. Mateen is yet another “lone wolf.” We have been expecting this type of a perpetrator for a while. Several of them were caught before they succeeded in raining mayhem on America. Others carried out their nefarious terror plots, including, most notoriously, a fraternal duo (Boston) and a wife-and-husband team (San Bernardino). The most recent perpetrator acted alone, even if he kept his wife somewhat informed.

Mateen was born in 1986 to Afghani refugees in New York. He was brought up in his parents’ Sunni faith. Initially rather tepid in his religion, at the end the mass murderer four times a week attended  a tiny mosque at Fort Pierce, Florida, where he resided. On Friday, June 11, he prayed there for the last time with his toddler. And soon after Omar publicly pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. During the massacre itself Mateen used his iPhone to enjoy the impact of his handiwork on social media. He even called a TV station to brag about murdering people, while invoking his Muslim faith. So, everything should be clear. The perpetrator committed a crime for religious reasons and draped it in the garb of the caliphate. Let’s dig deeper, though.

The fanaticism grew incrementally.  A chubby kid, who as a young adult bulked up on steroids, dealt with many personal issues. Those included anger problems, bouts of violence, escape into fantasy, and shows of insecurity stemming from his self-perceived mediocrity and inferior physique. What normal American kid would rejoice at the terror act of 9/11, brag about his “jihadist” shooting skills, or claim that Osama bin Laden was his uncle?

Mateen’s first wife, the Uzbek Sitora Yusufiy, stresses that her ex-spouse was a Muslim, but not a radical one. “He was mentally unbalanced and psychologically ill,” she avers. He beat her, more than stipulated in the Koran, so she left him. The second wife, American-Palestinian Noor Zahi Salman, has testified that Omar embraced radicalism gradually. She claims that, after her husband took her on a “reconnaissance mission,” she was able to prevail upon him to abort a planned murder at the Pulse at least once before the fatal morning.

Why the Pulse? Mateen’s father argues that his son flew into rage when two gay men kissed in front of the three year old grandson. If true, that could have been the trigger of his anti-gay rage. There is no evidence that, however, the killer became radicalized at his Sunni mosque, in particular as far as gays, although a Shia community center at nearby Sanford did host an Iranian imam who called for the extermination of “all homosexuals.” Nota bene, this is not congruent with the Koran, which calls for severe punishment of homosexual relations but forgives the repentant sinners.

At his mosque Mateen merely resolidified the tenets of his faith. However, he found the most ambient for him, and nefarious for most, interpretation of his religion on the Internet. He fully embraced radical Islam. Both his wife and the FBI confirm this. The future murderer was vetted twice by the Bureau, having had made terrorist threats, and twice by his employer, as a matter of job routine. For nine years, Mateen worked as a rent-a-cop for world’s leading security contractor, the British firm G4S Plc.

G4S Plc found nothing alarming. Although, the FBI saw a number of red flags, it reluctantly had to abandon the investigation twice because there was no actionable intelligence on Mateen. Further, one can imagine the Bureau’s bureaucrats, the in-house lawyers in particular, bristling at the concerns of the field agents and analysts.  The proof was in the pudding, alas. Omar Mateen cyclically made terrorist threats to people who annoyed him. He avidly read caliphatist and radical Islamist propaganda. He freely (and angrily) commented on current issues on social media. He was predictably hostile toward Israel. He complemented extremist groups, even adversarial ones, including the Hezbollah, al-Queada, and ISIS. He seemed not to have differentiated between them and their main attribute in his eyes was their radical anti-Western, anti-American fury. FBI agents naturally paid attention to such obvious signals. But, the FBI lawyers had their guidelines. We have freedom of speech in the U.S. Therefore, no one can be held based on his extremist statements and opinions. Thus, Mateen slipped off the FBI’s hook.

I bet, however, that one crucial factor escaped the Bureau’s scrutiny. Omar was, as the glitterati put it, “gay curious.” According to the guidelines of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies, that is no longer grounds for either concern or suspicion. The Internet surfing extremist was a regular at the club, which he would soon turn into a slaughterhouse. A regular? His caliphatist co-adherents will surely object that it was only to stake the place out. But once or twice before any operation suffices perfectly well. Why return to the Pulse obsessively?  His ex-wife’s beau charges that Mateen had “gay tendencies.” A college buddy, not out of the closet at the time, remembers that Omar asked him out on the date in vein. The future killer frequented gay clubs already at the time. More recently, his gay acquaintance Kevin West has admitted that Omar texted him on and off for about a year in 2015. According to The Times of Israel, Mateen’s phone was loaded with various gay-friendly apps, including Grindr, frequently used to find partners for anonymous sex. The regulars at the Pulse recognized Omar in and out of the club and treated him as one of theirs. He even told them about his family, including wife and child. This is no wonder since bisexuals tend to look for adventures in such places.

And, here’s where the psychological profile of the mass murderer becomes more complicated. Was he a caliphatist fanatic, who – in accordance with an extremist interpretation of the Islam – resolved to murder gays, while pretending to be one of them in congruence with the Muslim doctrine of dissimulation? Or, perhaps, Omar himself had homosexual inclinations, failed to come to grips with his condition, and, therefore, slaughtered the people who led him into the temptation? One does not contradict the other.

We should note also that The American Civil Liberties Union immediately blamed “Christianity” for this horrific murder.  Why? It is because Christianity rejects homosexual relations as sinful. Thus, it is allegedly responsible for the massacre in Orlando. ACLU forgot that Judaism is even more stringent on the matter than Christianity. This is as foul an accusation as the disgusting voices (from a preacher in Sacramento, California, to a youth activist in Kazan, the Russian Federation) who rejoice in the slayings of “the sodomites.” The latter are in congruence with the choir in the world of Islam that the gays had it coming. As for the perpetrator, therefore, Omar Mateen is a pure shaheed (martyr) of Allah. After all, his supporters insist, “there are no gays in Afghanistan.” The latter is true. There are active homosexuals and bisexuals there, including predatory pedophiles.  However, there are no gays in the sense of adherents of Marxism-Lesbianism, i.e., the radically secular ideology that gave us “gay marriages.” Afghanistan and other Islamic countries sport simple pederasty without any ideological underpinnings. Perhaps it is that rabidly secular gay ideology rather than the sexual act that Mateen could not square with his radical Islam.

It is obvious that Islam played a serious role in the massacre in Orlando. It provided the necessary context to the extermination spree, which crept out of Omar’s tortured soul. Don’t blame the FBI for it.


Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is a Professor of History at the Institute of World Politics, A Graduate School of National Security and International Affairs in Washington, DC, where he holds the Kościuszko Chair in Polish Studies. Professor Chodakiewicz is author of Intermarium: The Land between the Black and Baltic Seas and teaches a seminar on the history of the Muslim world at Patrick Henry College. He is also a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.

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