The deadly Orlando shooting which claimed 49 lives and left 53 others wounded, leaves us with many questions revolving around the motive of the killer. Omar Mateen, the son of Afghan immigrant parents, who was initially investigated by the FBI for having links with terrorists actualized his grand aim on June 12, 2016, when he opened fire at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and sent many to their early grave, before he was shot dead in a shootout with the police.
It took the Orlando shooting to get the rest of the world to dig into the life of the 29-year-old who kept swearing allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, during the shooting. In the quest to find out more plausible explanations for the deadly attack and all that relates to it, some questions have been asked. To dwell on these questions would mean to shed light on all dimensions of the sad event.
Who is His Wife?
Mateen was married twice. He was first married in 2009 to Sitora Alisherzoda Yusufiy. He had met Sitora on a social networking site known as Myspace, a year prior to their marriage. Their union only lasted for four months but ended legally in 2011.
The same year, he tied the knot with his second wife, Noor Zahi Salman whom he also met in an online dating site. Mateen wasn’t the first husband of Noor. The Califonia-born Muslim Palestinian-Arab bride who was born on May 26, 1986, was married to Abu-Rahma, a Palestinian. It was an arranged marriage that lasted from 2005 to 2010. A year later, she married Mateen.
Noor Salman is the eldest of her parent’s children. Her family had moved to the US from Ramallah in the 1970’s. Her parents, Bassam Abdalla Salman and Ekbai Zahi settled in Califonia. Her father died in 2015 and her mother owns a grocery store. She attended John Swett High School and furthered in a business college in Concord, Califonia. She moved into Mateen’s home in 2012 and the following year, they joined Mateen’s dad. Two years later, after the death of her father, she went to stay with her relative in Califonia. She and Manteen share a son.
Noor spent two years in jail after FBI arrested her and claimed she was not a non-participant in the mass killing. According to the FBI lawsuit against her, she was reprimanded for providing material support to the foreign terrorist group and for lying to the law enforcement agents in the investigation of the terrifying shooting. She was arrested after the authority learned that she accompanied her husband to buy some ammunition, knowing fully that he (Mateen) was up to something extreme. However, defense attorney noted that Salman’s only crime was getting married to a monster, not that she is one.
After it was found out that she may not have been aware that Mateen had such ill intention, Salman was acquitted and set free to be with her son whom his family has been caring for since her absence.
Was Omar Mateen Gay?
After the much-talked-about shooting that happened in Orlando, there were numerous speculations that Omar Mateen was gay or bi-sexual. Many suggestions pointed to the fact that he probably had gay tendencies since not one but a lot of people who knew him claimed he often visited gay clubs. His friend from 2006, when he was in police academy revealed that Mateen joined him to gay clubs and once indicated interest in having an affair with him.
Others who clubbed frequently said they had seen Mateen dance with a man in the past. Another old schoolmate claimed that Mateen once asked him if he was a homosexual. An eyewitness who saw Omar Mateen at the entrance of the club before the shooting identified him as the man he always talked to on a dating site called ‘Jack’d’. Another claimed that he carried out the shooting because he was exposed to HIV by a gay partner he slept with the previous night. But an autopsy carried out after his death showed that Mateen was negative to the virus.
Although his father quashed these suggestions, his wife mentioned that his father one time called him gay in her presence. Thorough investigations by the FBI seem to debunk all of these claims, as there was no convincing evidence that Omar Mateen preferred men to women. A more convincing back up to this is the fact that messages on his phone at the time of his death, indicated that he cheated on his wife with different women.
Here are Facts You Need to Know About the Orlando Shooting
Dawn was fast approaching the clouds of Florida on June 12, 2016, when Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse gay nightclub at 2.00 am. Sparing no time upon entering the club; he pulled out his gun and started shooting. The culprit was reported to have put a call across to emergency number 911 at exactly 2:48 am, pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and mentioning ‘heroes’ of the group including Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Moner Mohammad Abu Salha. He continued with his shootings and further made more calls to news outlets identifying himself as the shooter, further publicizing the act which he did in solidarity with the Islamic State.
The police arrived at the bloody scene and immediately engaged in a shootout with the killer who also took hostages to defend himself. After much terror and gun battle, the police eventually took him down at about 5.00 am.