Orlando Shooter's Father Praised Afghan Taliban

Ex-wife says Mateen kept her 'hostage'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2016 2:42 AM CDT
Orlando Shooter's Father Praised Afghan Taliban
Sitora Yusufiy, the ex-wife of Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen, gives a statement to the media at her home outside Boulder, Colo.   (Autumn Parry/Daily Camera via AP)

The father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen has some fairly extreme political views, though there doesn't appear to be any direct connection to the mass shooting. Seddique Mateen hosts the Durand Jirga Show on California-based Afghan channel Payam-e-Afghan, reports the Washington Post, which notes that in his political rants, he "doesn't always make much sense." More:

  • The elder Mateen, who pays for airtime to broadcast his show and whose videos also appear on YouTube, frequently rants against the Pakistani government. In at least one video, he praises the Afghan Taliban. In a 2015 video, he declares himself a candidate for Afghan president, though there was no election that year.

  • On a "Provisional Government of Afghanistan" Facebook page, Seddique Mateen's latest post came just hours before the shooting. In a video, he wears army fatigues while pretending to be Afghanistan's president and ordering the arrest of multiple politicians.
  • Seddique Mateen, who told reporters Sunday that his son may have been motivated by anger at seeing two men kiss, apologized for the shootings Sunday night, saying his son was "a very good boy" and that he is in shock. "I never figured out that he had a grudge in his heart," he said, per the BBC.
  • Reuters reports that Seddique Mateen lives in Florida, but it isn't clear when he first came to the US.
  • Sitora Yusufiy, Omar Mateen's ex-wife, tells the Guardian that he was "short-tempered," abusive, used steroids, and did not get along with his parents. "He would often get into fights and arguments with his parents, but because I was the only one in his life, most of the violence was towards me at that time," she says. She adds her family had to rescue her just a few months into their marriage in 2009 after Mateen kept her "hostage."
(More Omar Mateen stories.)

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