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    Police stand behind a crime scene tape near the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub on in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016.

    Orlando Shooter's Brother-in-Law Saw No Signs of Radicalization

    © AFP 2019 / Mandel Ngan
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    Orlando Gay Nightclub Massacre (77)

    Various theories abound in light of the Orlando carnage, including versions concerning his sexuality. Recently, the family of the hated Orlando terrorist has been found out to have a special relationship with Norway. However, this Norwegian connection failed to shed any light upon the personality and the disposition of the terrorist.

    The terrorist's brother-in-law lived in Norway for five years, before he met Omar Mateen's sister and eventually moved to the United States. Both the sister and the father of the terrorist visited Norway and even pondered moving there.

    "We even thought of moving to Bergen," Omar Mateen's brother-in-law told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet when interviewed in the house where Omar previously lived.

    Predictably, he did not want to have either his name or his face published. The fact that a family member suddenly became America's worst gunman with at least 49 killings made a bitter impact on the family.

    "I would like to be able to travel to Norway without being pointed out as Omar Mateen's relative," the man said.

    At present, US intelligence agencies are still working on an explanation of the terrorist's motive behind the bloodshed. The key questions remain yet to be answered: Did he perform a mission for Daesh? Was he inspired by Daesh? Did he have an adequate picture of the organizations he had sworn allegiance to?

    Omar's ex-wife's guess was that Mateen was bipolar. However, his brother-in-law could not provide any explanation to these questions. By his own admission, he did not believe that the gunman was mentally ill either.

    "I do not think Omar had any mental problems. I cannot say that he had any problems of this kind. He was not sick and he was no fundamentalist," he said.

    The question of Mateen's political education has been raised after he phoned emergency services from inside the Pulse nightclub and pledged allegiance to both al-Nusra, Daesh and Hezbollah. These are three organizations that are fighting on opposite sides of the conflicts in the Middle East. Mateen's brother-in-law said he had never discussed any politics with Omar.

    "No, we only discussed films, family issues and children," he said.

    By his own admission, they never went into religious disputes either.

    "We rather discussed what is right to do. Like we should all love God. We never discussed fundamentalism and such things. If you promise something to a friend, you must do it. You must keep what you promise. Such were things we discussed," he said, admittedly seeing no signs of radicalization.

    Time and again he stressed his shock and inability to comprehend that "such a good man" could end up performing such a cruel act of terrorism. When questioned by Dagbadet, he only spoke nicely about Omar Mateen, stressing he was a good person despite the atrocities.

    "I'm still not sure why he did it," he said.

    Orlando Gay Nightclub Massacre (77)


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    terrorist attack, Dagbladet, Omar Mateen, Norway, United States, Orlando
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