Seddique Mateen, the father of the terrorist who massacred at least 49 people and wounded more than 50 others at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, has reportedly claimed his son was seeking retribution against the gay community.
In a video posted on Facebook early this morning, Seddique Mateen said his 29-year-old son, Omar Mateen, shouldn’t have gone on the killing spree because ‘God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality’, according to a translation by the Washington Post.
In an earlier interview, he said there was no sign of any trouble when he saw his son just hours before the mass shooting, and he denied suggestions his son was radicalized or an ISIS sympathizer.
In the Facebook video, posted shortly after midnight, Seddique Mateen, standing in front of Afghanistan’s national flag, expressed shock that his ‘good son’ was responsible for the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and said he was ‘saddened’ by the rampage.
Speaking in Dari, he said: ‘I am deeply saddened and announce this to the people of America.’
He said he doesn’t know why his son launched the attack.
The video ended with him expressing disbelief that his son took it upon himself to seek retribution against the gay community, the Washington Post reported.
‘God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality. This is not for the servants,’ he said, according to the translation.
In an interview with NBC News on Sunday, Seddique Mateen said his son was enraged after seeing two men kissing in front of his wife and son during a visit to Miami a couple of months ago.
Later, in his first on-camera interview, Seddique Mateen, who moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan, told ABC News his son wasn’t radicalized or a sympathizer of ISIS, and was a loving and caring husband and father.
Investigators haven’t revealed a motive for the massacre, but Omar Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS moments before he began shooting his victims at the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning.
Seddique Mateen, who lives in Fort Pierce, Florida, revealed he saw his son at 3pm on Saturday, around 12 hours before the mass shooting started.
‘He came in here, paid respect and he went, like around 3 o clock. Everything was normal,’ he said.
Seddique Mateen said he was stunned and saddened when he received a phone in the middle of the night and learned his son was responsible for the worst mass shooting in American history.
He said he had no idea his son was planning the attack and he would have done something to stop it if he had.
Seddique Mateen, a political activist who is running for president of Afghanistan and has expressed gratitude towards the Afghan Taliban in videos posted online, said his son was not radicalized, adding: ‘He wasn’t because he had no beard, and he was just a regular person going to work and coming back and taking care of his wife and his kids.’
The father said he has no idea why the attack occurred and he didn’t notice anything irregular in his son’s behavior.
‘I couldn’t believe that was my son because my son got an education, he’s born in the United States in New York and he finished high school here in Florida, and he got his associate degree in criminal justice,’ he told ABC News. ‘He had a lot of love and care, and I couldn’t believe that this is what he was doing. And if he was alive I would ask him one question: Why?’
Armed with a .223-caliber AR-15-type rifle and a 9mm semi-automatic handgun legally purchased within the last week, Omar Mateen began shooting his victims inside and outside the nightclub around 2am on Sunday.
He engaged in a gun battle with an off-duty police officer who was working security at Pulse, and then went deeper into the nightclub.
He took hostages and continued to kill his victims until police raided the bar at 5am in order to rescue the remaining survivors.
In the ensuing gun battle a SWAT team rescued 30 hostages and shot and killed Omar Mateen, who was also from Fort Pierce in central Florida, said Orlando police.
Last April, Seddique Mateen, who regularly writes open letters to President Barack Obama, visited Congress, the State Department and political leaders during a trip to Washington, D.C.
He hosts his own show, called the Durand Jirga Show, which is broadcast from California, where he discusses politics in the Dari language.
In videos posted online, he has expressed gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government.
Posts include topics such as ‘Rise Afghan people against Pakistan’ and ‘Intelligent service and Military of Pakistan real Enemy of the USA (sic)’.
In one video the elder Mateen holds up a sign that reads: ‘ISI Pakistan and Military is Destroying 14 years of US work in Afghanistan to cut AID to killers’.
And in another, according to the Washington Post, he tells the camera: ‘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.’
Only hours before the massacre in Orlando, Seddique posted a video called Provisional Government of Afghanistan on a Facebook page, which he describes as ‘social activity for communities to develop a good relationship’.
The video is of himself dressed in army camouflage, where he appears to be pretending he is the president of Afghanistan, and orders the arrest of several high-profile Afghan figures.