June 15, 2016

Omar Mateen was Gay Trying to pIck up Men/ A Bullied Chubby Kid with Homophobic Dad



                                                                         
                                                                           

                                                                                                                                    




A regular at the Gay Night Club

Jim Van Horn said he was a frequent patron at Orlando’s Pulse night club. He said another ‘‘regular’’ at the Florida gay bar was Omar Mateen, the man whose shooting rampage left 49 dead and dozens more wounded early Sunday in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Speaking to The Associated Press late Monday, 71-year-old Van Horn says he saw Mateen trying to pick up men at the club.

Van Horn said he met Mateen once. He said the younger man was telling him about his ex-wife.

Van Horn says some friends then called him away and told him they didn’t want him talking to Mateen because ‘‘they thought he was a strange person.’’

Despite Mateen’s pledge of support to the Islamic State, other possible explanations emerged, including questions of whether he was conflicted about his sexuality.

An official says the FBI is investigating reports that the Orlando massacre shooter had been a regular at the gay nightclub he attacked and had used gay dating apps.

The U.S. official had been briefed on the investigation into 29-year-old gunman Omar Mateen. The official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday.

The comments follow reports and comments from patrons at the Orlando club Pulse that Mateen was a regular there and tried to pick up men. Previously, his Afghan-immigrant father had suggested Mateen may have acted out of anti-gay hatred, and said his son got angry recently about seeing two men kiss.

 Kevin West said he was in the parking lot at the Pulse Orlando nightclub at 1 a.m. Sunday when he recognized Omar Mateen walking in.

The men had met more than a year ago when Mateen reached out to West on Jack’d, a dating app for men. They then lost touch until three months ago, when Mateen made contact again, mentioned that he would be in Orlando soon, and suggested meeting for a drink. West had also seen Mateen at Pulse multiple times before.

“I remember details,” said West, a 37-year-old Navy veteran. “I never forget a face.”

Later that night, Mateen would kill 49 people inside the gay nightclub in Orlando in the worst mass shooting in US history.

Mateen’s apparent presence on gay dating apps and his previous visits to Pulse, according to West and another witness, added another dimension to the portrait emerging Monday of the man behind the violent rampage.

Cord Cedeno said he had also seen Mateen inside Pulse before, standing at the bar with a drink.

“He was open with his picture on the sites, he was easy to recognize,” said Cedeno, 23, of Orlando, who said he was also contacted by Mateen at least a year ago on a dating app.

LATEST UPDATE: Washington Post just posted the following before we came out at 12am:

Family members and an ex-wife of Omar Mateen say he regularly espoused homophobic views, but regulars at the LGBT nightclub where the 29-year-old American-born Muslim gunman killed 49 while pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group described him as a routine visitor.
Others recognized him from gay dating apps, adding to the complicated and at times contradictory picture of the man behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Investigators also are questioning Mateen’s second wife, Noor Salman, about the degree of knowledge she had before the attack early Sunday.
An official who was briefed on the progress of the case but insisted on anonymity told The Associated Press that authorities believe Mateen’s wife knew about the plot, but they are reluctant to charge her on that basis alone.
Mateen, who injured 53 others when he stormed the gay nightclub Pulse and opened fire, appears to have been preparing for the attack since at least June 4, when he purchased one of the firearms used in the assault.
As authorities work to piece together the motivation behind the attack, a probe that initially centered on Islamic radicalization and the FBI’s prior investigations of Mateen has veered into whether the killer struggled with feelings about his own sexual identity.

Psychological studies show that anti-gay views are more pronounced in people who repress same-sex desires, particularly those who are raised by parents who forbid homosexuality.
“In many cases, these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward,” said Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who oversaw a 2012 study on homophobia.
Jim Van Horn, 71, told AP that he saw Mateen repeatedly at the bar and talked with him once.
“He was a homosexual, and he was trying to pick up men,” Mr. Van Horn said. “He would walk up to them and then he would maybe put his arm around ‘em or something and maybe try to get them to dance a little bit or something.”
During a news conference at Orlando Regional Medical Center, shooting survivor Patience Carter said she was praying to die as she lay on a nightclub bathroom floor covered in water and blood. She said Mateen talked about wanting the U.S. to “stop bombing my country,” a possible reference to his father’s native Afghanistan.
“I really don’t think I’m going to get out of there,” said Ms. Carter, 20, recalling her thoughts. “I made peace with God. ‘Just please take me. I don’t want any more.’ I was just begging God to take the soul out of my body.”
Citing law enforcement sources, NBC News reported that Mateen’s wife accompanied him to the gun store when he purchased ammunition several days after June 4 and at some point drove him to Pulse because he wanted to scope out the club.
Investigators are continuing to dig through his phone and communications as well as interviewing those who knew him to determine more about the killer and the degree to which those around him may have been aware of or aided him in carrying out his plans.
NBC also reported that authorities are considering whether to bring criminal charges against Ms. Salman regarding her failure to report the plans for the brutal attack to law enforcement. Mateen was killed in a shootout with police.
Ms. Salman has not spoken out publicly about Mateen.
Amy Filjones, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office for the Middle District of Florida, declined to comment on the report because the investigation is continuing.
Even if Ms. Salman knew about the pending attack, the extent to which she felt able to warn law enforcement is unclear.
Mateen’s first wife, Sitora Yusufiy, has described the gunman as controlling and abusive. She said he forbade her from seeing her family and seized control of her paychecks. Their marriage in 2009 lasted four months.
“He was totally two different people sometimes and would turn and abuse me, out of nowhere, when I was sleeping,” she told The New York Times.
Ms. Yusufiy said she did not know whether her former husband might have been homosexual but noted that he regularly expressed strong anti-gay feelings.
One regular patron of Pulse told the Los Angeles Times that he recognized Mateen from the gay dating app Jack’d. Another told MSNBC that he had received messages from Mateen through the app Grindr.
Hector Camacho, CEO of Jack’d, said the company has not been able to substantiate claims that Mateen was active on the site.
For lawmakers looking to prevent terrorism, the ambiguity in Mateen’s motivations and questions about how the attack could have been detected led to separate tactics.
Democrats were intent on forcing votes on gun control. Although it may be impossible to spot “lone wolf” attackers, they said, their rampages can be less lethal if they don’t have access to firearms.
House Republicans rejected that approach and instead vowed to pass a series of bills designed to shape an anti-terrorism strategy. Republican leaders said they would repackage and approve nine separate bills as a single bill and send it to the Senate, where they hope it will receive action.
President Obama on Tuesday renewed his call for Congress to impose more gun control, especially a ban on assault-style rifles such as the one used in Orlando.
“Stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons. Reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Mr. Obama said. “Otherwise these kinds of events are going to keep on happening.”
Noting that the attackers in San Bernardino, California, and Fort Hood, Texas, were U.S. citizens, the president said authorities cannot conduct blanket surveillance on all Muslims.
“Where does this stop?” Mr. Obama asked. “Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It won’t make us more safe; it will make us less safe.”
Law enforcement groups, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations, said the heavy fire that Orlando Police Department officers came under while trying to subdue Mateen is evidence that law enforcement has a real need for surplus military equipment.
Mr. Obama signed an executive order last year that imposed limitations on the types of surplus equipment that police departments could obtain through surplus programs.[End of Wash Post report]


Ex-wife

 His ex-wife said he suffered from mental illness. And his Afghan-immigrant father suggested he may have acted out of anti-gay hatred.
The ex-wife of the shooter at a gay Florida nightclub says the man enjoyed nightlife, but she’s not sure if he had any homosexual tendencies.

Sitora Yusufiy spoke to CNN on Tuesday from Denver.

She says: ‘‘When we had gotten married, he confessed to me about his past ... that he very much enjoyed going to clubs and the nightlife, and there was a lot of pictures of him. ... I feel like it’s a side of him or a part of him that he lived, but probably didn’t want everybody to know about.’’

The comments follow reports from customers at the gay nightclub that shooter Omar Mateen was seen there regularly. One told The Associated Press that Mateen tried to pick up men there.

Asked whether she thinks her ex-husband was gay, Yusufiy said: ‘‘I don’t know. He never personally or physically made any indications while we were together of that. But he did feel very strongly about homosexuality.’’

She says it’s possible he hid feelings about being gay.

The couple were married in 2009 and divorced two years later. She has said he was abusive.

The Apartment

Family photos, drawings, blackboard messages, a Quran and books on Islam decorate the apartment where the shooter in the Orlando gay nightclub massacre lived with his wife.

Univision News reported the details and says it visited the home in Fort Pierce, Florida, on Monday when it was unoccupied. Univision reports that it was the morning after the FBI swept the apartment for evidence, and says the home was unlocked and not yet sealed off by crime-scene tape.

The report describes a blackboard message in the kitchen about an appointment at their 3-year-old son’s school and a note with an Arabic phrase praising God.

Univision says that on the living room table was a document listing items investigators removed: 9 mm cartridges, an iPad mini, a Samsung phone, a Dell computer, a CD labeled with Mateen’s name.

Mateen lived there with his second wife, Noor Salman.

New developments with Marteen second wife. She has stated that she tried to stop Omar from committing this mass shooting. The question is if she was trying to stop him then she mot’ve known what he was up to and the question that will pop on  everyone’s mind is why didn’t she called the police?
There ware reports from CBSN that she has been interviewed at least twice by the FBI and also polygraph. No details about this but what has come out is food for thought.

                                                                 


Killer showing his colors early on with the 9/11 Attacks

A man who knew the Orlando nightclub shooter as a teenager says the student infuriated his peers by joking about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Robert Zirkle says he and Omar Marteen lived in Stuart, Florida, and rode the same bus, though they attended different schools.

Zirkle says he and his friends were generally on good terms with Mateen until 9/11. Zirkle says Mateen made airplane and explosion sounds and appeared to be joking about the attacks.

Zirkle says, ‘‘My group of friends told him it wasn’t a joke, and if he didn’t knock it off he was going to have problems.’’

Zirkle is now 29 and lives in Johnson City, Tennessee. He says he would see Mateen when both teens worked at the mall but didn’t have much contact after those jobs.

Gunman brutally bullied for being chubby and being Arab


An anonymous official told the Associated Press that the FBI is investigating the claims the shooter had been at the club before and had used gay dating apps.

Mateen and his family had the typical profile of striving immigrants in this country. But there were also hints of darkness in Mateen’s life, according to interviews with relatives, friends, ex-classmates, former co-workers and acquaintances: Being Arab American meant he stood out in a small South Florida town and was bullied in school. He switched jobs constantly and became increasingly frustrated, unpredictable, sporadically religious, and prone to anger.

Some of Mateen’s high school classmates pinpointed a particularly strange moment on Sept. 11, 2001, when they were watching the attack on the World Trade Center unfold on live TV.

Four classmates said Mateen cheered and made mocking comments, which got him pulled from class and may have led to his departure from the school. His unusual behavior that day was also corroborated by other classmates in public posts on Facebook.

The Martin County School District referred all questions about Mateen’s time as a student to the FBI.

Robert Zirkle, then a freshman in the Martin school district, said that after 9/11, he saw Mateen excited and making fun of how America was attacked.

“He was making plane noises on the bus, acting like he was running into a building,” said Zirkle. “I don’t really know if he was doing it because he was being taught some stuff at home or just doing it for attention because he didn’t have a lot of friends.

“We all rode the same bus. We weren’t really close friends, but friends at least a little,” he said. “After 9/11 happened, he started changing and acting different.”

At the time, Mateen was attending the Spectrum alternative school, a campus in Stuart, Fla., for students with behavioral issues.

One former student who was sitting in the same class as Mateen said he remembers the morning of 9/11 clearly: “Teachers said, ‘Turn on the TV.’ We see the one plane hit. And then see the second plane hit. . . . He was smiling. It was almost like surreal how happy he was about what had happened to us.”

The former student said Mateen stood up after the second tower was hit and claimed that Osama bin Laden was his uncle.

“Back then, we didn’t even really know who Osama bin Laden was,” the classmate said. “But he talked about shooting AK-47s. . . . He said he shot them and his uncle taught him how to shoot them.”

The ex-classmate spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear that business clients would find out that he attended a school for poorly behaving students. He recalled others in the class growing angry. “The teacher could tell we wanted to hurt him. So the teacher grabbed him,” he said, and sent him to the dean’s office.

In a Facebook post, another student similarly described Mateen’s standing up and cheering on 9/11.

A third classmate said he distinctly remembers Mateen’s actions that day because both of them were sent to the dean’s office at the same time for acting out when the towers were hit. That third student spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared being bombarded by media requests.

“I was sleeping in class and woke up to see people jumping off buildings, so I started swearing and they sent me up,” the former student said. When he arrived at the dean’s office, Mateen was also there, apparently for saying rude things about Americans deserving to be attacked, said this student, who was not in the classroom to witness the comments.

The first former classmate, who was in the classroom, vividly recalled Mateen’s father picking him up after he got in trouble. “I remember his dad walking up,” he said. “And in the courtyard in front of everyone, the dad slapped him right across the face.”

After that day, Zirkle said, “he kept doing it and saying crazy things. It’s weird. He was totally cool before 9/11, and then something changed.”

Zirkle and others think Mateen was suspended or expelled from the school shortly afterward.

But such memories don’t fit with those of Kenneth Winstanley, a friend of Mateen’s in junior high and high school, who said he did not recall Mateen celebrating the Sept. 11 attacks and doubted his friend would have done that. Winstanley was not in the same room as Mateen that day.

“I never heard about him doing anything like that,’’ said Winstanley, who attended school with Mateen from grades six through 10. “Someone would have said something. We were friends. If he was caught celebrating something like that, he would have gotten beaten up.’’

Winstanley said he never saw signs of radicalization in Mateen in high school, adding, “I know Omar liked America.’’ He said the two once had a conversation about Mateen’s Muslim faith. “Omar explained the Muslim religion to me,’’ Winstanley said. “He didn’t go crazy into it. It was just some of the things his culture does, the food they eat. Nothing radical Islam at all.’’

Sarah Zaidi, who was best friends with one of Mateen’s three sisters, described the Mateens as “an all-American family.”

“His mom worked for a while at a day-care center. His dad did stuff with stocks and investment,” Zaidi said. “They were pretty moderate as Muslims. None of the sisters or mom even wore a headscarf like some Muslims do.”

Two of Mateen’s sisters are now married and have kids in the same area, Zaidi said. A third is a hairdresser and cosmetologist.

But as the only son, Mateen seemed to have fewer friends than his sisters.

“He was brutally bullied,” said Justin Delancy, who rode the bus with Mateen for several years. “He was a chubby kid and got bullied about his weight. He was probably one of the only kids of Arab descent. That made him stand out a bit as well.”

On some mornings, kids wouldn’t let Mateen sit beside them. On others, he’d get slapped on the back of his head, Delancy said. “He’d try to joke and laugh and make fun of himself to get the attention off of himself. But it didn’t work.”

Court records released Monday depict a meandering life for Mateen after he left the alternative school. He graduated in 2006 from Martin County’s adult vocational school, where struggling students go to get GEDs. He earned an associate’s degree from Indian River State College in 2006.

In the court documents, Mateen disclosed his work history, a string of jobs from 2002 to 2006 at GNC, Hollister, Gold’s Gym, Nutrition World, Walgreens, Chick-fil-A, Circuit City, and Publix.

In 2009, Mateen married Sitora Yusufiy, who has said in interviews that Mateen beat her severely. They separated about nine months later. A judge ruled in 2011 that their marriage was “irretrievably broken.”

After he married a second time, his current wife, Noor Z. Salman, also left him to return to her childhood home in Rodeo, Calif., with their 3-year-old son, acquaintances said.

Friends and co-workers gave conflicting reports about Mateen’s religiosity and personality. To some, he was extremely pious and serious. But others described him chasing girls, going to parties, and drinking.

“He was fun,” said Ryan Jones, 27, who said he often went out with Mateen.

Former classmate Samuel King and his friends also hung out with Mateen at the mall, where Mateen worked at the GNC store after high school and King at Ruby Tuesday. Half the workers at the restaurant were openly gay, King said, including himself. “He had to know it, but I never got any sense of homophobia or aggression from him.”

Over the past two days, King and others have revisited their interactions with Mateen, trying to find signs of how he turned into someone capable of such violence.

On Monday, Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, insisted that his son was not motivated by Islamist radical ideology, describing the 29-year-old as “a good son” who did not appear agitated or angry in the days before the shooting.

In an interview at his home in Port St. Lucie, the father offered no hints about what could have driven his son.

When asked about Mateen’s 911 call pledging loyalty to the Islamic State, his father said he did not believe it was genuine.

“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.”

His father also glossed over the anger and homophobia that, a day earlier, he recounted witnessing in Mateen after his son saw a gay couple being affectionate in Miami. “He was surprised about it. That was it.”

In a video posted to Facebook early Monday, the father said: “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality. This is not for the servants” of God.

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, government officials were also trying to piece together the family’s background for clues. They said they do not know when Mateen’s father left the country, but noted that millions fled after the Soviet Union’s invasion in 1979.

Mateen’s father, however, maintained a strong affiliation with Afghanistan, hosting a television show broadcast from California that weighed in on the country’s political affairs. He also filmed dozens of sparsely viewed, rambling YouTube videos portraying himself as an important Afghan analyst and leader.

The most recent video on the father’s YouTube channel shows him declaring his candidacy for the Afghan presidency. But the timing is strange, coming a year after presidential elections were held in Afghanistan. And the elder Mateen appears incoherent at times in the video, jumping abruptly from topic to topic.

Sitting on his living-room couch, the father said he saw no warning signs up to the day before the shootings, when he last saw his son.

“He was well behaved. His appearance was perfect,” he said. “I didn’t see any sign of worrying or being upset or nervous.”

 Last segment(brutally bullied) by
William Wan and Anne Hull who reported from Orlando. Journalists Arelis R. Hernandez in Orlando, Lee Powell and Zachary Fagenson in Fort Pierce, Tim Craig in Afghanistan, and Julie Tate, Alice Crites, Amy Brittain, Jerry Markon, Brian Murphy, and Max Bearak in Washington contributed to this report.


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