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Orlando gunman’s father expressed support for Taliban: report

The Afghan father of Orlando gay nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had expressed support for the Afghan Taliban and denounced Pakistan in an online video, according to a media report.

Seddique Mateen, who was 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, the Washington Post reported.

In it, the elder Mateen speaks in the Dari language on a variety of political subject. Dozens of videos are posted on a channel under Seddique Mateen’s name on YouTube.

A phone number and post office box that are displayed on the show were traced back to the Mateen home in Florida, the report said.

Seddique’s son Omar, who carried an assault rifle and a pistol into the gay club in Orlando in the wee hours of Sunday and killed 50 people while injuring 53 others, was later shot dead by the police.

Seddique owns a nonprofit organisation under the name Durand Jirga, which is registered in Port St. Lucie, Florida. In a bizarre video he posted on Saturday, Seddique appears to be portraying himself as the Afghan president. In one video, Seddique expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government, the report said.

“Our brothers in Waziristan, our warrior brothers in (the) Taliban movement and national Afghan Taliban are rising up. Inshallah the Durand Line issue will be solved soon,” he was quoted as saying.

Just hours before the Orlando shooting, Seddique posted a video on a Facebook page called ‘Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique Mateen’.

In the video, he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan’s President, and orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures.

The most recent video on Mateen’s YouTube channel shows him declaring his candidacy for the Afghan presidency.

The timing of the video is strange, as it came a year after presidential elections were held in Afghanistan.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 6:19:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/Orlando-gunman%E2%80%99s-father-expressed-support-for-Taliban-report/article14420369.ece

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