Orlando Shooter's Father Recorded A Political TV Show In Canoga Park
Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando shooter, filmed a political TV show in Canoga Park in which he criticized Pakistan, the U.S. and the current president of Afghanistan. Seddique Mateen had moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan, living for a time in New York before settling in Florida. Omar Khatab, the owner of the Canoga Park satellite TV station, said that Mateen paid for time on his channel, typically two or three hours at a time, and visited three or four times a year, according to Reuters. Mateen's show was called "Durand Jirga Show" and it aired on the Payam-e-Afghan network and was also posted to YouTube, CBS Los Angeles reports.
In the show, Seddique talked about political situations in Afghanistan, specifically criticizing Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, the U.S. and Pakistan. He accused "killer ISI" of being the "creator and father of the world's terrorism." ISI is Pakistan's military intelligence service. Upset with Ghani's outreach to Pakistan, Seddique stated on the show that he would like to run for president of Afghanistan.
Mateen talked frequently about the Durand Line, which has long been a controversial issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Durand Line was established in 1893 to separate Afghanistan from what was, at the time, British India. After Pakistan achieved independence, it became a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The line divided the Pashtun ethnic group, who have lived there since 500 B.C., causing a political divide.
Afghanistan does not recognize the border and Afghan officials have stated that Pashtuns should decide the line's legitimacy.
According to a 2014 article in the Diplomat:
After the founding of Pakistan in 1947, Afghanistan demanded that Pashtuns living on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line be given the right to self-determination. Unsurprisingly, both Britain and Pakistan refused. In response, the Afghan government then began to ignore the Durand Line and instead assert claims over territories that lay between the line and the Indus River.
In an episode of Mateen's show, he says, "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," according to the Washington Post. Many Pashtun are members of the Afghan Taliban. It is not clear if the Mateen family are Pashtun, but CBS reports that many of Mateen's viewers are Pashtun Afghans who live in the U.S. and Europe.
Ahmad Mukhtar with CBS News viewed the videos and said he believes that Mateen may be delusional. "He thinks he runs a government in exile and will soon take the power in Kabul in a revolution," he said.
As for what motivated his son to attack a gay nightclub in Orlando, Seddique has stated the attack was not motivated by religion, despite reports that Omar called 9-1-1 and pledged loyalty to the Islamic State.
"I think he wanted to boast of himself. No radicalism, no. He doesn't haven't a beard even…I don't think religion or Islam had anything to do with this," he said.
Seddique said his son became enraged after seeing two men kiss in Miami a few months ago. Seddique himself posted a video on Facebook on Monday indicating that he views homosexuality as a sin, though he does not support humans acting against it. He states in the video, "God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality," and so humans should leave the issue alone.
He has also stated that he would have tried to intervene had he known what his son was planning.
Omar Mateen, 29, shot and killed 49 people and wounded 53 more in an attack on the Pulse Nightclub, a popular gay club in Orlando on Sunday morning. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Prior to the Orlando shooting, the deadliest had been the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, which claimed the lives of 32 people, followed by the 2013 shooting in Sandy Hook, which killed 26. Mateen used an AR-15, the same gun used in the San Bernardino shooting, who killed 14 people and also pledged allegiance to the Islamic state.