The father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen apologized for his son’s shooting rampage, calling it the act of a “terrorist,” but also said “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality, this is not for the servants” of God.
In a series of interviews Monday, Siddique Mateen condemned his 29-year-old son for storming the Pulse nightclub early Sunday morning, killing at least 49 people and wounding 53 others.
Omar Mateen died in a shootout with police inside the club, a popular gay venue.
“As a father, I don’t want any father to go through this,” the elder Mateen said in an interview with APTN from his Port St. Lucie home in Florida. “What he did was completely (an) act of (a) terrorist.”
The Afghan-born dad said he was proud of becoming a U.S. citizen and has long been “against terrorism, against injustice.”
He is thought to have left Afghanistan after it was invaded by the former Soviet Union in 1979. He appears to have maintained ardent support for his native country and in a series of disjointed YouTube videos presents himself as an influential Afghan leader, The Washington Post reported.
He also expressed gratitude in one video to the Afghan Taliban and expressed vehement anti-Pakistan views, the paper said.
“Our brothers in Waziristan, our brothers in (the) Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up. Inshallah, the Durand Line issue will be solved,” he said.
The Durand Line is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan that splits the homeland of the Pashtun ethnic group. It is seen as detrimental to the Pashtun population.
Mateen said Monday that he had seen his son the day before the shootings and Omar Mateen seemed “perfect,” with no sign of being upset or agitated.
“I would have arrested him myself,” if he had any inkling of what his son was about to do, Mateen said.
“I’m sorry again,” the father said. “I’m very, very mad.”