A mother accused of domestic abuse and described as “paranoid.” A father became a supporter of the Taliban. Parents who spent years in and out of courtrooms. That’s the family that gave rise to mass-murderer Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando last Sunday.
As investigators continue to search for a motive in the largest mass-shooting in U.S. history, they are focused intensely on the three years prior to the attacks, including the period when Mateen, who worked as a private security guard, was on a terrorism watch list.
But a portrait of the killer’s upbringing also is beginning to emerge, through snapshots of a childhood marked by domestic strife, struggles in school, and outbursts of violence, which may yield some insights about why Mateen embarked on his murderous rampage.
The media has gone to great lengths to try to show that Omar Mateen was anything but an ISIS influenced Muslim. No doubt his childhood was no picnic, but it's clear that he was clearly motivated by the ideology, not the pedigree.