1. Orlando shooting: Gunman’s father expressed support for Taliban: Report

Orlando shooting: Gunman’s father expressed support for Taliban: Report

The Afghan father of Orlando gay nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had expressed support for the Afghan Taliban and denounced Pakistan in an online video, according to a media report.

By: | Washington | Published: June 13, 2016 6:54 PM
At least 100 people were dead in the Orlando shooting. (Reuters) At least 100 people were dead in the Orlando shooting. (Reuters)

The Afghan father of Orlando gay nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had expressed support for the Afghan Taliban and denounced Pakistan in an online video, according to a media report.

Seddique Mateen, who was referred to as Mir Seddique in early news reports, hosted the ‘Durand Jirga Show’ on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California, the Washington Post reported.

In it, the elder Mateen speaks in the Dari language on a variety of political subjects. He does not always make much sense. Dozens of videos are posted on a channel under Seddique Mateen’s name on YouTube.

A phone number and post office box that are displayed on the show were traced back to the Mateen home in Florida, the report said.

Seddique’s son Omar, who carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the gay club in Orlando in the wee hours of Sunday and killed 50 people while injuring 53 others, was later shot dead by the police.

Seddique owns a nonprofit organisation under the name Durand Jirga, which is registered in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
In a bizarre video he posted on Saturday, Seddique appears to be portraying himself as the Afghan president.

In one video, Seddique expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government, the report said.

“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in (the) Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up. Inshallah the Durand Line issue will be solved soon,” he was quoted as saying.

Just hours before the Orlando shooting, Seddique posted a video on a Facebook page called ‘Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique Mateen’.

In the video, he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan’s president, and orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures.

“I order national army, national police and intelligence department to immediately imprison (Hamid) Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Zalmay Khalilzad, Atmar, and Sayyaf. They are against our countrymen, and against our homeland,” he says, while dressed in army fatigues.

The most recent video on Mateen’s YouTube channel shows him declaring his candidacy for the Afghan presidency.

The timing of the video is strange, as it came a year after presidential elections were held in Afghanistan. Mateen appears incoherent at times in the video, and he jumps abruptly from topic to topic.

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