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Posts Tagged ‘Omar Mateen

Comparing Terrorism in West with the rest of the word?

Since the beginning of 2015, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have seen nearly 50 times more deaths from terrorism than Europe and the Americas.

Thursday’s attack on Bastille Day celebrations in Nice is the third mass-casualty assault to hit France in 18 months, and the largest single attack on a Western country since November of last year, when gunmen rampaged through Paris, killing 130.

More than a month ago, a gunman stormed into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. The gunman, Omar Mateen, spoke with a 911 operator on the phone and pledged his loyalty to the Islamic State. The event was both a terrorist attack and the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The death tolls of attacks in Western countries pale in comparison to daily attacks in other parts of the world.

In a few frenzied days in late June and early July, three Islamic-State-linked attacks killed over 350 people.

On June 28, three attackers detonated their suicide vests at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and killed 45 people. On July 1, Bangladesh suffered its worst terrorist attack in history when gunmen killed 20 hostages at a Dhaka restaurant.

On July 3, nearly 300 died in a busy Baghdad shopping district, the Karrada.

(Click to check the graphs By Lazaro Gamio and Tim Meko)

Marj Henningsen shared this link

Thanks for posting John Bernson. It’s good to be reminded of the tragedies happening outside the US and Europe that go largely unnoticed by most Americans. Also the vast majority of victims of groups like ISIS are Muslims.|By Post Graphics

In northeastern Nigeria, Islamic-State-affiliated Boko Haram has been forced out of much of the territory it once controlled, but it continues to carry out suicide bombings in the region. The group has carried out increasingly deadly campaigns in recent years, with 2015 being the deadliest.

(The news obscured the deadly massacre of the Nigerian forces against 1,000 Chiaa Nigerians)

In Syria and Iraq, the local populace bears the brunt of the Islamic State’s brutality, with suicide bombings and armed assaults a common occurrence. The group has stepped up attacks in recent months, as its territory in northern and western Iraq has diminished.

In Afghanistan, an increasingly fragmented Taliban is stepping up its operations. On June 30, two suicide bombers attacked a convoy entering Kabul and killed 30 police cadets, one of many attacks against security force convoys. Just over a week prior, a suicide bomber killed 14 Nepali and Indian security guards; both the Taliban and the Islamic State took credit for the bombing.

Outside large attacks in France and Belgium, attacks in eastern Ukraine account for most terrorism casualties in Europe, according to Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center.

In the Americas, recent Islamic-State-inspired mass shootings make up the lion’s share of the terrorism-related deaths. Aside from that, a few scattered attacks from guerrilla groups in Colombia and Peru and some scattered violence in the Caribbean caused a handful of deaths.

Notable attacks

April 2, 2015

Garissa, Kenya – Al-Shabab militants stormed dormitories at a university in eastern Kenya, killing at least 147 people. It was the worst terror attack on Kenyan soil in nearly two decades.

June 25, 2015

Kobane, Syria – Militants stormed into this Syrian Kurdish town, killing scores of people five months after the extremists were pushed out of the area with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes.

June 26, 2015

Sousse, Tunisia – A gunman killed 39 people – largely British tourists – at a beach resort north of the city of Sousse. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the worst of its kind in Tunisian history.

July 17, 2015

Diyala, Iraq – A suicide bomber drove a truck bomb into a market in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala as it was packed with families making preparations for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. At least 130 were killed in what was at that point the Islamic State’s worst single bomb attack in the country.

Aug. 6, 2015

Abha, Saudi Arabia – An affiliate of the Islamic State asserted responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque in the southern Saudi city of Abha that killed 15 people. Most of the dead were members of a local SWAT force who were praying when the attack happened.

Oct. 10, 2015

Ankara, Turkey – Twin bombs ripped through a peace rally in the Turkish capital, Ankara, killing about 100 people, largely Kurdish and Turkish leftist activists. Turkey blamed the Islamic State for the attack, though the group did not assert responsibility.

Nov. 12, 2015

Beirut, Lebanon – Two Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded area in a southern suburb of Beirut, killing as many as 43 people. It was the worst terrorist attack in Lebanon since the country’s 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

Nov. 20, 2015

Bamako, Mali – Gunmen seized a luxury hotel, killing at least 20 people in an attack claimed by an al-Qaeda affiliate.

March 27, 2016

Lahore, Pakistan – A suicide bomber killed more than 70 people, including many children, on Easter in an amusement park in Lahore.

May 11, 2016

Baghdad – Nearly 100 people were killed in three bombings in the Iraqi capital claimed by Islamic State. The worst struck a market in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, which was followed by attacks on checkpoints a few hours later.

June 28, 2016

Istanbul, Turkey – A brazen assault by three suicide bombers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killed more than 40 people. Turkish officials blamed Sunni extremists for the attack.

July 1, 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh – A siege at a cafe in Dhaka leaves 23 people dead. Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, has dealt with Islamist extremist attacks since its independence in 1971.

July 3, 2016

Baghdad, Iraq – More than 250 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a busy Baghdad shopping street in the Islamic State’s deadliest-ever bomb attack on civilians. It was one of the worst bombings Iraq has seen since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

July 4, 2016

Saudi Arabia – Suicide bombers with suspected links to the Islamic State attacked three locations as part of a coordinated campaign of worldwide bombings coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Four security guards died in one of the attacks, the Interior Ministry said.

Sources: IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, Staff Reports. Additional research by Loveday Morris, Hugh Naylor and Tiffany Harness. Note: As of July 14, there were 94 attack fatalities in the West andd 663 elsewhere. In a previous version of this article, the top-level totals excluded the partial July data.

 Orlando shooter

Sometime after 2 a.m. Sunday, Omar Mateen dialed Orlando’s 911 service to alert the dispatcher to the carnage unfolding at one of the city’s most popular gay bars. (Apparently, he intended to do the shooting in one of California gay parade?)

He spelled out his full name and location, and then he offered an explanation: He was a follower of the Islamic State.

By 5 a.m., Mateen lay dead, killed in a gun battle with police in a violent finale to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

But while the enormity of the crime was quickly apparent, authorities were just beginning to sort through the jumble of motives that may have led the 29-year-old immigrant’s son (Born in New York) to open fire on scores of young men and women inside the Pulse nightclub.

While Mateen claimed allegiance to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, no evidence had emerged by late Sunday pointing to actual ties to terrorist groups or a significant association with jihadist causes. And although family members said Mateen had expressed anger about homosexuality, the shooter had no record of previous hate crimes.

Mohamad Najem shared this link

Whether he’s Muslim, Black, Jew, or Christian: How can a “mentally unstable person” buy guns?

(The term mentally unstable person is reserved to Jews who go on killing rampage, against Palestinians)

This is the main question to ask. This is the main issue to solve in the US. ‪#‎Florida‬ ‪#‎shootings‬

The brief marriage was marked by domestic violence, she said.

He had twice come under investigation by the FBI — once for comments suggesting an affinity for Islamist groups, and a second time for vague connections to another Florida man who traveled to Syria to become a suicide bomber.

Neither probe turned up evidence of wrongdoing, and Mateen had a blemish-free record when he applied for a Florida license to carry concealed weapons and again when he legally purchased two firearms, including an assault-style semiautomatic rifle, just a few days before the shootings.

Indeed, as the first day of the investigation neared an end, U.S. officials struggled over how exactly to label the attack, which President Obama described on Sunday as both “an act of terror and an act of hate.” (How about an act of rage?)

“We have reached no definitive conclusions,” Obama said at a news conference, adding: “What is clear is that he was a person filled with hate.”

Also clear is the fact that, until the past week, Mateen appears to have lived a relatively quiet life, as a security guard and father of a young son who kept a modest two-bedroom condominium in Fort Pierce, a town on east Florida’s central coast.

Born in New York, he was the son of an Afghan immigrant who moved his family to Florida when Mateen was a child. The older Mateen would eventually open a business and attempt to dabble in Afghan politics from afar, starting a YouTube channel in Florida in which he sometimes expressed favorable views about the Taliban.

Mateen would spend his youth and young adulthood in Florida, attending a local high school and obtaining an associate’s degree in criminal justice from nearby Indian River State College in 2006, according to college spokeswoman Michelle Abaldo.

He held jobs as a security guard and appeared to have a fondness for law enforcement, having once talked to friends about becoming a police officer. In a series of Myspace photos, ­Mateen is seen taking selfies wearing New York Police Department shirts.

Florida public records confirm that Mateen had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was a licensed security guard, first at a facility for juvenile delinquents and later for G4S, a security company.

But there also were early signs of emotional trouble and a volatile temper, according to Sitora Yusifiy, who was briefly married to Mateen. Yusifiy described Mateen as an abusive husband who beat her repeatedly while they were married.

“He was not a stable person,” she told The Washington Post. “He beat me. He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.” (Beat your wife. If you don’t know why, she does)

Yusifiy said she met ­Mateen through an online dating service and eventually agreed to move to Florida to be with him. The two married in March 2009 and moved into the Fort Pierce condo that Mateen’s family owned.

“He seemed like a normal human being,” said Yusifiy, who divorced Mateen in 2011.

Acquaintances gave conflicting views about Mateen’s religiosity. Yusifiy said her former husband wasn’t very devout and preferred spending his free time working out at the gym. She said in the few months they were married he gave no signs of having fallen under the sway of radical Islam.

“He was a very private person,” she said.

Mateen later had a son with another woman who also appears to have left him and declined to comment when reached at her current home.

But one friend said Mateen became steadily more religious after his divorce and went on a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia.

“He was quite religious,” said the friend, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. Yet, he added, if Mateen had sympathies for the Islamic State or other terrorist groups, he never mentioned them.

For several years, Mateen regularly attended the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce and was there as recently as two days ago, said Imam Shafiq Rahman on Sunday.

The imam said Mateen’s father and young son would pray with him, and Mateen’s three sisters were active volunteers at the mosque, which had about 150 congregants.

“He was the most quiet guy; he never talked to anyone,” Rahman said, gripping a loop of black and red prayer beads as he held forth in a dingy corridor adorned with images of the Arabic alphabet rendered by children who come here for religious instruction. “He would come and pray and leave. There was no indication at all that he would do something violent.” Mateen never sought any spiritual guidance from him, Rahman said.

But Rahman’s 20-year-old son, a University of Florida senior who declined to provide his first name, recalled Mateen as an “aggressive person.”

“It was just his demeanor,” he said. “He used to work out a lot.”

Mateen’s father, Seddique ­Mateen, insisted in interviews Sunday that his son’s violent deeds had nothing to do with religion. He said Mateen had become enraged a few months earlier at the sight of a pair of gay men being affectionate with each other.

“We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid and he got very angry,” the father told NBC News. “They were kissing each other and touching each other and he said, ‘Look at that. In front of my son they are doing that.’ ”

Seddique Mateen had himself become embroiled in controversy as the host of the “Durand Jirga Show” on a channel called Payam-e-Afghan, which broadcasts from California. In it, the elder Mateen speaks in the Dari language on a variety of political subjects.

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. Mateen also owns a nonprofit organization under the name Durand Jirga, which is registered in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

In one video, the elder Mateen expresses gratitude toward the Afghan Taliban, while denouncing the Pakistani government.

“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.”

It is unclear if his statements ever attracted the attention of the FBI.

The Durand Line was drawn as a demarcation of British and Afghan spheres of influence in 1893. The historical line is a source of conflict for members of the Pashtun ethnic group, whose homeland straddles the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Just hours before the Orlando shooting, Seddique Mateen posted a video on a Facebook page called “Provisional Government of Afghanistan — Seddique ­Mateen.” In it, he seems to be pretending to be Afghanistan’s president, and he orders the arrest of an array of Afghan political figures.

“I order national army, national police and intelligence department to immediately imprison Karzai, Ashraf Ghani, Zalmay Khalilzad, Atmar, and Sayyaf. They are against our countrymen, and against our homeland,” he says, while dressed in army fatigues.

William Wan, Steve Friess and Brian E. Crowley in Fort Pierce, Fla., and Julie Tate, Jennifer Jenkins and Alice Crites in Washington contributed to this report.




May 2022

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