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Orlando Shooting Suspect Omar Mateen’s Father: ‘I Don’t Think He Was Radicalized’

The father of Orlando nightclub shooting suspect Omar Mateen opened up about his “good son” in a series of new interviews, and claimed that the 29-year-old was not motivated by Islamist radical ideology, despite reports suggesting otherwise.

In a new interview with ABC News on Sunday, June 12, Seddique Mateen said he was shocked to learn that his son was the man behind the tragic incident at Pulse, a gay nightclub, earlier that morning, which left 50 dead and 53 injured and is now the most deadly mass shooting in U.S. history.

Omar Mateen
Omar Mateen Myspace

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“He surprised me because I didn’t see anything irregular with him,” Seddique said of Omar. “I saw him yesterday afternoon. Everything was normal.”

Seddique — who was born in Afghanistan and later moved to the United States, where his three children were born — continued, “I don’t think he was radicalized. That’s what my gut feeling tells me.”

As previously reported, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it “was carried out by an Islamic State fighter” in a statement to Reuters on Sunday afternoon. President Barack Obama later said during a press conference that he met with an FBI director and his Homeland Security advise to ensure that they are “appropriately investigating this as an act of terror.”

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In an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday evening, Seddique further discussed his son, who reportedly called 911 and pledged his loyalty to the Islamic State prior to committing the crime.

“I think he just wanted to boast of himself. No radicalism, no,” he said of Omar. “He doesn’t have a beard even.… I don’t think religion or Islam had anything to do with this.”

Seddique also said that he plans to travel to Orlando to meet with those who were injured and the victims’ families. “If they’re not ready, I still say to them I’m sorry,” he told The Washington Post. “I’m saddened for their injury or if they lose their dear one.”

Seddique Mateen
Seddique Mateen Washington Post

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However, according to the Post, he later posted a video on Facebook in which he said, “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.”

According to previous reports, Omar became enraged a few months prior to the shooting when he saw two men kissing.

A GoFundMe page started by Equality Florida, the state’s LGBT civil rights organization, has already raised nearly $1.5 million for the victims and their families.

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