Orlando gunman's father condemns shooting, posts video saying homosexuality an issue for God
'I would have arrested him myself, I would have called FBI,' Seddique Mir Mateen tells reporters
The father of the gunman in the Orlando nightclub shooting says he's angered by the actions of his son, Omar Mateen, calling the weekend massacre "the act of a terrorist."
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"Even though he is my son, I admit this is terrorist act. This is terrorizing. I don't forgive him," Seddique Mir Mateen told reporters Monday, a day after his son gunned down 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
"I am sorry," the elder Mateen said. "If I did know, one per cent, that he was committing such a crime … I would have arrested him myself, I would have called FBI."
The deadly attack shocked the family, the father said, and went "against my principles, against what I taught him." He said he was "as sad as the rest of the country."
In an earlier interview with NBC, the father described an incident in downtown Miami in which his son saw two men kissing in front of his wife and child and became very angry.
Seddique Mir Mateen also posted a Facebook video Monday condemning his son's crimes, and added that homosexuality is an issue that "can be punished only by God," not humans.
Father of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/orlando?src=hash">#orlando</a> shooter posted FB video early Mon translated "homosexuality not an issue humans should deal with - God will punish" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbc?src=hash">#cbc</a>—@OrmistonOnline
The elder Mateen came to the U.S. from Afghanistan more than 30 years ago and has made a series of rambling political videos about his former homeland, even once describing himself as its "revolutionary president."
No records in Afghanistan
Seddique Mir Mateen — a life insurance salesman — maintained a high profile on social media in the U.S., but is a mystery to Afghan authorities. Some government departments ran background and security checks Monday and found no trace of him, an official said.
He apparently left Afghanistan after the 1979 invasion by the Soviet Union touched off a decade-long war of resistance. A civil war was followed by five years of radical Islamist rule by the Taliban until the U.S. invasion of 2001. Since then, the country has been trying to rebuild, with help from the U.S. and other countries, while the Taliban continue to fight the Kabul government.
With constant turnover in government departments in the past 15 years, there appears to be no record of Mateen. Efforts were made to find out about his past, "but we haven't found a clue," according to an official in the Afghan intelligence agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A fierce anti-communist, Mateen was a captain in the ranks of the mujahedeen who fought the Soviet occupation, Saeedi said. Once in the U.S., he promoted himself to the rank of general.
Social media videos
Mateen made a series of videos on social media in the Dari language, in which he blamed Afghanistan's ills on a variety of people and organizations, notably Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI.
The videos were called the Durand Jirga Show, referring to the Durand Line — the long disputed border established
by the British between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"For the past three or four years, he has been uploading these videos in which he claims to be the 'revolutionary president' of Afghanistan," Saeedi said.
Many of the videos drew only a few hundred views.
A former Afghan official said the Durand Jirga Show appears on Payam-e-Afghan, a California-based channel that supports ethnic solidarity with the Afghan Taliban, which are mostly Pashtun. But video reviewed by The Associated Press on Monday did not show support by Mateen for the Taliban.
In an April 2015 video, Mateen said he and his supporters had called on the Taliban to join the peace initiative by current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
In another video dated May 23, 2015, Mateen declared himself a candidate for the Afghan presidency.
"Afghanistan's sovereignty is in danger due to the free hand of foreigners on our territory, and the result is that 95 per cent of the country is not under the government's control," he said, a reference to the influence of Pakistan.
"Due to a lack of planning, and resultant economic crisis, I, Seddique Mateen, am declaring myself as a candidate for the presidency in order to rescue Afghanistan."
A photo was posted of a bright green T-shirt depicting him in a black jacket and red tie — the colours of the Afghan flag — and the words: "Seddique Mateen: the real leader of the Afghan people."
With files from Susan Ormiston, CBC News and Reuters