National Security & Defense

The Corner

When the Unforeseen Doesn’t Seem So Unforeseen

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

When the Unforeseen Doesn’t Seem So Unforeseen

No one saw this coming, right?

The gunman, who was killed in a shootout with police about 5 a.m., was identified by the FBI as Omar Mateen of St. Lucie County. The agency interviewed Mateen, 29, three times in 2013 and 2014 for expressing ties to terrorist organizations and contacting a suicide bomber, but they determined he wasn’t a threat.

I keep hearing from experts who insist three interviews by the FBI in connection to Islamist terrorism doesn’t prove any connection to terrorism or any potential threat. But to the average American, who’s never been interviewed by the FBI  for anything, three interviews sounds like a lot. How many times can you just coincidentally happen know a suicide bomber, or just happen to be overheard expressing ties to terrorist organizations?

No one saw this coming, right?

The ex-wife of the slain Orlando nightclub shooter described him late Sunday as a mentally and emotionally unstable — and possibly bipolar — spouse who physically abused her during their brief marriage.

Speaking to reporters from her home in Boulder, Colo., Sitora Yusufiy said the couple were together just four months before she fled their Florida home and filed for divorce.

She described Mateen as “very short-tempered” and said he would often get into arguments with his parents. “But because, I guess, I was the only one in his life, most of the violence was towards me at that time.”

He soon “started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, keeping me hostage from them,” she said.

No one saw this coming, right?

Two Florida corporations created by [the shooter’s father] Seddique Mateen, the Provisional Government of Afghanistan Corp. and The Durand Jirga Inc., are related to that border dispute. And Seddique Mateen announced his candidacy for president of Afghanistan in 2015, one of several YouTube videos posted by Mateen related to the issue.

A Washington Post translation of one video has the elder Mateen praising the Taliban: “Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in (the) Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said.

No one saw this coming, right?

A former co-worker of Omar Mateen said Sunday that the man identified as the mass shooter in the Orlando nightclub massacre often used slurs against African Americans, gay people and women.

Daniel Gilroy, 44, worked with Mateen for about a year as a security guard at PGA Village South in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“I complained multiple times that he was dangerous, that he didn’t like blacks, women, lesbians and Jews,” Gilroy told The Times on Sunday.

Mateen threatened violence in front of him, Gilroy said. Once when Mateen saw an African American man driving past, he said he wished he could kill all black people, using a racial slur, Gilroy recalled.

“You meet bigots,” Gilroy said, “But he was above and beyond. He was always angry, sweating, just angry at the world.”

Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce police officer, described Mateen as “unhinged and unstable.”

Gilroy said he quit his security job after Mateen began harassing him, sending as many as 20 or 30 text messages a day and more than a dozen phone messages. Gilroy said his employer, G4S, did not intervene.

“I saw this coming,” he said.


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