Orlando Shooter's Father Had an L.A.-Based TV Show
The father of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen had an L.A.-based television show about Afghan politics.
Seddique Mateen hosted the Durand Jirga Show on the Payam e Afghan network for three years, ending last year, the broadcaster's owner, Omar Khatab, told L.A. Weekly.
The father paid for the airtime, Khatab said. It wasn't clear why he ended the show.
The elder Mateen said over the weekend that his son was apparently enraged by the sight of two men kissing in Miami a few months ago. He took it out on 50 innocent party-goers who were fatally shot at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, early yesterday, authorities said. It is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
At least 53 others were injured in the three-hour shooting rampage before SWAT team members stormed the club and gunned down Omar Mateen.
He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group during a 911 call he made in the middle of the attack, police said.
Though Omar Mateen had been contacted by federal authorities at least twice, FBI officials found that he wasn't a threat or that evidence was inconclusive.
It appears that his father was a known voice in the Afghan community in the United States. On a video posted on his YouTube channel, Seddique Mateen expressed support for the Afghan Taliban.
"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."
A former Afghan official also said the elder Mateen's TV show was pro-Taliban.
However, Khatab said the show as simply "tracking Afghan politics."
"He was coming from Florida, flying in and doing the show in the studio" in Canoga Park, he said of Seddique Mateen. Khatab said he never met the son.
The show has also been described as pro–United States. On one video a sign read, "Long live the U.S.A! Long live Afghanistan. ... Afghans are the best friends to the U.S.A."
Current Afghan president Ashraf Ghani appeared on the show in 2014, and the elder Mateen was supportive. But he later criticized the Afghan government.
The Associated Press reported that the elder Mateen had pledged to run for president of Afghanistan in the future.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.