What do we know about Omar Mateen (Omar Mir Seddique)?

America is reeling from the gruesome murder of 49 and injuries to another 53 victims of the terrorist act committed by Omar Mateen at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida. There are many articles and tweets about Mateen’s background but here are some key things to remember about this Islamic terrorist.

  1. Omar Mateen was born (Omar Mir Seddique) in New York, to Afghan (refugee) parents.
  2. His father has been involved in post-9/11 Afghan politics from the United States.
  3. He is purported to be a religious (Muslim) man who regularly attended the Orlando Islamic Centre.
  4. Mateen was married and then divorced, accused by his ex-wife of abusive behavior.
  5. He was unabashedly anti-gay but is also believed to be a registered Democrat.
  6. He was questioned a couple of times by the FBI after making inflammatory comments to co-workers.
  7. Since 2007, Omar Mateen was employed as a security officer by Homeland Security contractor and global security services company, G4S.
  8. As part of this job, he passed stringent government background checks (in 2007 and 2013) and was not on any terror watch list.
  9. Omar Mateen was also licensed and trained by G4S in handling firearms as a security officer (aka private cop).
  10. He is reported to have called into 911 just before his attack on the Pulse night club and claimed to carrying out his act of terror on behalf of ISIS.

Four Marines massacred in Chattanooga

A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born gunman opened fire on a military recruiting station and then proceeded to the US Naval Reserve Center where he shot and killed four Marines. The killer was identified as¬†¬†Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez who was a naturalized US citizen, born in Kuwait to Muslim Jordanian parents. It is not known whether he was radicalized by ISIS/ISIL ideology or the true nature of his motives. Some investigation of his social media postings does point to a religious bent though he was not being tracked by law enforcement under any Islamic terrorism investigation. Abdulazees was killed but we still don’t have details of his death though it was likely a result of exchange of gunfire with Chattanooga police, one of whose officers was reportedly shot but is recovering. Was this Islamic terrorism or just domestic terrorism? That will likely be debated for a while. For now, the incident is also being used to test the waters for whether US military personnel should be armed while on in the United States.

Four Marines gunned down in possible Islamic terrorism attack in Tennessee

Four Marines gunned down in possible Islamic terrorism attack in Tennessee

SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks terrorist activities, said that Mr. Abdulazeez had this week posted at least two Islam-focused writings on a blog, including one in which he described life as “short and bitter.” He also said that Muslims should not miss “the opportunity to submit to Allah.”

The separate rampages, at an armed services recruiting center and a naval reserve facility, were together the highest profile episode of violence at domestic military installations since April 2014, when three people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded at Fort Hood, Tex. And the killings here came in yet another mass shooting, less than one month after nine people were killed inside a church in Charleston, S.C. (New York Times)