While police are still working to learn more about Omar Mateen, the man who killed approximately 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando early this morning, The Washington Post has discovered that his father, Seddique Mateen, has a curious background of his own. Apparently, the elder Mateen once hosted a political talk show, and now, according to a number of videos posted on Facebook, claims to be the current president of Afghanistan.
Seddique Mateen, who has been referred to as Mir Seddique in early news reports, hosted the “Durand Jirga Show” on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California. In it, the elder Mateen speaks in the Dari language on a variety of political subjects...
“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in [the] Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up,” he said. “Inshallah the Durand Line issue will be solved soon.”
Mateen’s most recent video of the show on YouTube was posted over a year ago, and apparently consists of him declaring his candidacy for president of Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s actual presidential elections, however, were held in April of 2014.
The Washington Post also notes that “Mateen appears incoherent at times in the video, and he jumps abruptly from topic to topic. His use of Dari, instead of Pashto, the language of Pashtuns, was another strange element of his presentation, given that he is discussing issues of Pashtun nationalism.”
Though he no longer uploads videos to YouTube, Mateen still updates his Facebook regularly—he’s posted seven times in the last 24 hours. In a video uploaded just hours before his son began his attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub and titled “Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique Mateen,” Mateen, acting as the supposed Afghan president, ordered the imprisonment of various prominent Afghan leaders:
I order national army, national police and intelligence department to immediately imprison Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Zalmay Khalilzad, Atmar, and Sayyaf. They are against our countrymen, and against our homeland.
In an interview with NBC News this morning, Mateen’s father said that he believes his son was motivated to commit a massacre after he witnessed two men kissing while he was in Miami, noting, “We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he is taking, we are in shock like the whole country. This had nothing to do with religion.”