Orlando Was Not a Senseless Crime
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Headlines and electronic media have been full of the gory details surrounding the horrendous crime in Orlando. At least 50 are dead (one being the killer) and more are wounded. But many reporters and commentators have claimed that the rampage was a “senseless” crime. That assessment is itself senseless.Omar Mateen, an American citizen, was born in New York City into a Muslim family. In 2006, he earned an associate degree in criminal justice technology. After a few years of bouncing from one job to another, he found steady employment as a security guard. In 2009, he got married and bought a home. But the marriage ended in divorce after, according to his wife, he had abused her. By 2013, co-workers reported suspicions that he possessed ties to terrorism. The FBI investigated him twice but found no reason to act on the worries of the co-workers.
In an interview with ABC News, his ex-wife and his father claim that he was not radicalized, yet when the ex-wife was interviewed by federal authorities, she said he was radicalized within the last year.
During his deadly rampage, Mateen shouted “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase regularly used by Muslims at the start of prayers and other occasions. Among several meanings, the most popular is “God (or Allah) is great!” He called 911 during the shooting and stated allegiance to ISIS, a revealing fact confirmed by California Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
What motivated this man to kill so many others? Why did he commit his crime when he certainly could expect to be gunned down himself?
President Obama termed Mateen’s horrific deed “an act of terror and an act of hate.” But he carefully avoided what else the crime was – the act of a radical Islamic terrorist. Marine Corps University instructor Sebastian Gorka said it amounted to “individual jihad.” Security Policy Analyst Clare Lopez said Mateen’s crime was not the act of a “lone wolf,” but that of a deliberate individual concretely carrying out his obligations of Sharia.
According to the Telegraph, Syed Shafeeq Rahman, the imam of Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, where the gunman prayed four days a week, said his moque’s teaching is “peaceful and moderate.” Regarding radicalization, he said, “This is nothing that the Mosque is teaching them. They get it from the Internet.”
He continued, “It is not written in the religion that you go and kill 50 people in the middle of the night. So if he blames religion for it, he has to explain it- where do you get it from?”
The article states another young man who occasionally visited the mosque became America’s first suicide bomber in Syria in 2014.
Fox News reported that the gunman was enrolled in the online Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary run by Marcus Dwayne Robertson. Here is an excerpt from the article explaining more about Robertson:
FoxNews.com has reported extensively on Robertson, a former U.S. Marine who served as a bodyguard to the Blind Sheik involved in the 1993 World Trade Center Attack and led a gang of New York bank robbers called “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” before resurfacing in Orlando, where he started an Islamic seminary.
The school, recently renamed the Timbuktu Seminary, is operated by Robertson, a 47-year-old firebrand known to his thousands of followers as Abu Taubah.
Robertson, who recently spent four years in prison in Florida on illegal weapons and tax fraud charges before being released by a Florida judge one year ago, has openly and enthusiastically preached against homosexuality.
Robertson is reportedly being questioned by federal authorities.
In 2006, Pentagon-based U.S. intelligence analysts issued a document entitled Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers. It concluded that “most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands.” The analysts noted: “The selfless sacrifice by the individual Muslim to destroy Islam’s enemies becomes a suitable, feasible and acceptable course of action.”
Vast numbers of Muslims want to be left alone to raise their families and live in peace. They do not become jihadists. But even if a minuscule amount of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims become radicalized, the non-Muslim world must be on guard.
Omar Mateen’s rampage wasn’t “senseless.” Nor could the murders and mayhem committed by the San Bernardino pair, the Boston bombers, the Fort Hood killer, and so many other criminals be deemed “senseless.” These were deliberate deeds carried out by deliberate individuals. It is senseless, and potentially even suicidal, to conclude otherwise.
Editor’s Note: Keep up with The New American’s coverage of this as a more comprehensive profile takes shape of who exactly was Omar Mateen, from an alleged homosexual to a security guard working as a Department of Homeland Security contractor.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.