>> Omar Mateen was gay, says ex-wife and former friend: Orlando terrorist used homosexual dating app and visited Pulse at least a dozen times
Au lendemain de la terrible fusillade homophobe du Pulse à Orlando, plusieurs clients réguliers de l’établissement ont dit à la presse qu’Omar Mateen, le meurtrier, y avait également passé de nombreuses soirées.
« Il allait dans un coin pour s’asseoir et boire tout seul. Et parfois il était ivre et devenait bruyant et agressif», a expliqué un habitué, et d’autres affirment que le tueur leur avait envoyé des messages via des application de rencontres, notamment Jack’d et Grindr. Aucune photo n’a toutefois été diffusée.
Autre témoignage, celui d’un ancien étudiant de l’académie de police d’Indian River Community College, où Omar Mateen était inscrit en 2006, qui déclare sur le Palm Beach Post qu’il pensait vraiment Omar était homosexuel. Il lui avait fait des avances et les deux hommes étaient déjà sortis ensemble dans des bars gays.
Peu après l’attentat, excluant toute relation avec la religion, Seddique Mir Matteen, le père du meurtrier, avait pourtant décrit son fils comme « homophobe ». Ses opinions se sont d’ailleurs précisés il y a quelques mois, après avoir vu deux hommes s’embrasser dans le centre de Miami. La scène s’est déroulée « devant les yeux de sa femme et son enfant. Il était très énervé et a crié que Dieu punira ceux qui s’adonnent à l’homosexualité ! »
Mais son ex-femme, Sitora Yusufiy, attribue davantage son aversion à « une sexualité non-assumée » : son père, très strict, le « traitait de gay », ajoute-t-elle dans un entretien sur une chaîne brésilienne. Frustrations, anxiétés… Les jeunes LGBT refoulent souvent leur orientation sexuelle par peur d’être rejetés par leurs parents. L’adage confirmé une nouvelle fois : les pires sont bien des refoulés ?!
Des informations qui apportent un éclairage nouveau mais pourrait compliquer encore la compréhension des ressorts psychologiques qui ont poussé cet agent de sécurité né à New York à passer à l’acte. Et s’il est gay, il deviendrait le premier soldat LGBT du califat en Amérique. Le Washington Post revient néanmoins sur le profil du père : d’après leur enquête, Seddique Mateen a « de fortes convictions politiques » et « soutient les Talibans afghans », qui condamnent notamment les homosexuels à mort. Il présente également une émission télévisée où il parle « politique » en persan afghan.
>> Evidence is mounting that Omar Mateen, the gunman who murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning, was himself gay.
Mateen’s horrifying attack on Pulse nightclub was initially thought to be a homophobic attack rooted in extremist Islamic ideology.
But now his ex-wife and former security school classmate have stepped forward to say they think Mateen was gay, the same day it was revealed that Mateen had made at least a dozen previous visits to Pulse, and was a user of gay dating app Jack’d.
Mateen’s first wife, Sitora Yusufiy, whom he met online in 2009 and married soon after, spoke to a Brazilian TV station on Monday, Gawker reported.
Yusufiy was joined on the channel by her Brazilian fiance, Marcio Dias.
Speaking Portuguese, he told the channel that Yusufiy told him Mateen had ‘gay tendencies’ and had been called gay in front of her on several occasions by his father.
He also said that she didn’t believe that Mateen’s Islamic beliefs were at the root of his attack.
She had told the FBI that he he was unstable, and that she didn’t believe he was part of a terrorist group – despite him telling authorities he was with ISIS before the attack an ISIS later taking credit.
‘The FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media,’ he told the station.
Yusufiy sought divorce from Mateen in 2011, after he turned violent.
‘After a few months he started to beat me,’ she had said previously. ‘He was mentally unstable… he was obviously disturbed. I know he had a history of [taking] steroids.’
And talking to the Palm Beach Post, a former classmate of Mateen said that the mass-murderer once asked him out on a date.
The man, who did not wish to be named, was a classmate of Mateen’s in 2006, when they both attended the Indian River Community College police academy.
He said that he would hang out with Mateen alone and in groups, and that they went to gay clubs together.
He also said that Mateen had asked him out on a date at one point. ‘We went to a few gay bars with him, and I was not out at the time, so I declined his offer,’ he said.
He told the newspaper that he thought Mateen was gay and closeted, and that he was an ‘awkward’ figure.
‘He just wanted to fit in and no one liked him,’ he said. ‘He was always socially awkward.’
Mateen made his attack on Pulse early Sunday morning – but that wasn’t the first time he’d been to the club,The Orlando Sentinel reported.
One regular at the club said he’d seen Mateen, at least a dozen times there before the massacre.
‘Sometimes he would go over in the corner and sit and drink by himself,’ Ty Smith, who also uses the name Aries, told the Sentinel Monday.
‘Other times he would get so drunk he was loud and belligerent,’ he added.
Remarks that Mateen drank heavily conflict with his apparently strict adherence to his Muslim faith, including regular worship at a mosque in his home town of Port St. Lucie – where he was quiet and kept to himself.
Smith said he’d seen Mateen at Pulse ‘at least a dozen times’, joining three others who said they’d seen the shooter at the club before.
‘We didn’t really talk to him a lot, but I remember him saying things about his dad at times,’ Smith said. ‘He told us he had a wife and child.’
Chris Callen, who performs at Pulse under the name Kristina McLaughlin told The Canadian Press: ‘He’s been going to this bar for at least three years.’
And Kevin West, who was also a regular at Pulse, told the Los Angeles Times that Mateen has messaged him on gay dating app Jack’d several times in the year before the attack.
However, he said, he never actually met the man until the morning of the attack.
He saw Mateen crossing the street outside Pulse at around 1am – about an hour before the attack.
West, who was dropping off a friend at the club, recognized Mateen. ‘He walked directly past me,’ he said. ‘I said, « Hey, » and he turned and said, « Hey, » and nodded his head,’ West said.
West went to police as soon as he saw pictures of Mateen in news reports, handing over his phone and Jack’d login to FBI agents, who still had it as of Monday.
The FBI are also trying to hack into Mateen’s own electronic devices to find out what had happened in the days leading up to the shooting, the LA Times reported.
Mateen married a second time after divorcing Yusufiy, to Noor Zahi Salman, with whom he had a son.
The pair got a mortgage together in 2013, but they were living at separate addresses when he went on his rampage.
His father, Seddique Mateen, told the Palm Beach Post that he didn’t believe his son was gay. ‘If he was gay, why would he do something like this?’ he asked the paper.
And he had previously recounted a time when his son became furiously angry after seeing two men kissing in Florida.
But speaking to The Canadian Press, Smith said that the story was ‘bullcrap’.
‘That’s straight-up crap,’ he said in an interview at the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida.
‘He’s been around us. Some of those people did a little more than (kiss) outside the bar… He was partying with the people who supposedly drove him to do this?’
Classmate Samuel King said Mateen was not homophobic when he knew him in the year after their 2004 graduation.
‘What is shocking to me is that the majority of the staff at Ruby Tuesday’s when I worked there were gay,’ he said.
‘He clearly was not anti-(gay), at least not back then. He did not show any hatred to any of us. He treated us all like the individuals we were. He always smiled and said hello.’
King, who characterized Mateen as friendly and talkative, said: ‘Something must have changed.’