The father of the mass murderer Omar Mateen, who shot dead 50 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida yesterday (June 12), has released a statement expressing his disbelief and confusion at his son's actions.
Seddique Mateen addressed his statement, published on Facebook, to the people of his native Afghanistan, adding that "homosexuality and the punishment for that is up to God alone, and not for humans."
In an address that isn't as contrite as some might have expected, Mateen said: "I am informing you of the death of my son in the United States. It is a very sad moment.
"My son Omar Mateen was a very good and educated boy. He has a wife and child."
Mateen's ex-wife, Sitora Yusifiy, has also come forward, telling reporters that the 29-year-old Florida resident - who was shot dead by police during the attack - was physically and mentally abusive, had mental health issues and was "obviously disturbed, deeply, and traumatised."
Yusifiy was rescued from the abuse by her own family, and there is a palpable sense of resignation to her statement, along with the shock of suddenly being thrust into the media spotlight. It was apparent to Ms Yusifiy that he wasn't the type to seek help for his mental health problems. She added that Mateen had a history with steroids.
Mateen's father is less sure of any fathomable reason for the atrocity.
"I don't know what caused this whole thing. He was working for a company who provided him with a pistol. I never figured out that he had hatred in his heart," he said.
"He went to a gay club and shot many people. I am grief-stricken. Why he did such a thing in the holy month of Ramadan I don't know."
Mateen Snr. previously He also revealed that his son had been angered several months ago by the sight of two men kissing in front of his family. He added that he didn't believe the attack could be linked to Islam, stating: "This has nothing to do with religion."
This is a sentiment shared by many in the forensic psychology profession, who say that mass shootings are often the work of 'lone wolves' with deeply disturbed psyches.
Clinical Professor of Psychology J Reid Meloy, PhD said: "We have found that personality disorders in mass murderers are often a mixture of antisocial, paranoid, narcissistic, and schizoid traits."
ISIS have claimed responsibility for the shooting, but whether Mateen was working in tandem with the terrorist group is still under investigation. The FBI had investigated him twice, in 2013 and again in 2014, suspecting Mateen had 'terrorist sympathies'.
The question of why he was able to buy a gun despite potential extremist activity remains unanswered, but the NRA (National Rifle Association) has come under fire from New York City's Police Commisioner, Bill Bratton, who said: “The idea we have a terror-watch list, a no-fly list, and someone on that list can buy a gun – that’s the highest level of insanity.”
He added that the FBI investigation may not have been able to prevent Mateen from buying a gun, and that "obviously the United States is too afraid of the NRA at this time."
Ms Yusifiy, who had not seen Mateen for over seven years, was joined by her unnamed fiancé, who reiterated the belief the attack had nothing to do with religion, saying:“I hear the media trying to make this about Isis or Islam … but it is about imbalance, it’s about society, it’s about parenting, accepting each other.”
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