US once investigated Orlando shooter over ties to bombing in Syria, but wasn't arrested


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The NYT in its infinite wisdom have made it impossible for me to copy text, but if you read the article it seems pretty clear that any links were circumstantial. Also, that the FBI contacted the Saudis for information on his trip to the KSA is above and beyond. People don’t meet during Hajj to discuss terrorism as a first resort. I mean, it’s possible, but it’s a bit like arranging to meet someone at a death metal concert for a quiet chat.

I don’t see this as a failure on the FBI’s part. If you read the NPR profile, what comes to mind is less “budding Muslim extremist” and more “Angry White Guy Syndrome- except brown.”


Watch list means “not enough evidence to open a case yet”.


That’s an interesting way to put it and I can see that… it’s a class thing, in other words.


New York Times? The rest of the world is telling a much different story about Omar Marteen today.
Omar Mateen had connections to Pulse, it’s patrons and performers. He may also have been gay.


Yes to at least some extent, and I think it goes beyond that. He sounds to me like the kind of frustrated person who spent a lot of time feeling inadequate. He grew up poor, his coworkers picked on him for being Muslim, he lashes out weakly, leading to investigation by the authorities, his wife leaves him. He picks a profession, which despite being honest work has a way of attracting people who want to feel bigger than they are.

Then there’s the fact that he doesn’t seem to know doctrine or have had any real direct contact with someone who “prepped” him. Maybe new details will emerge and its always possible, but it doesn’t seem like it right now. He didn’t seem to self-radicalize by reading long tracts from ISIS or Hezbollah, which are groups that oppose each other, yet he claims he supports both. Then there’s the fact that the groups aren’t shy about claiming responsibility if they had any direct connections. His father strikes me as a kooky-uncle type political nutter more than the kind of person who would take his son aside and tell him to kill gay people.

Overall, he seems to me to fall into the same type of angry frustrated barrel as Dylan Storm Roof. I can’t help but feel he’s really and truly a domestic terrorist. The main difference being that I think he just wanted to die and take the world with him. The gay kiss he witnessed was little more than a catalyst. He has his son with him, and he’s trying to eke out some happiness from the small corner of life he’s painted himself into to some extent and there are two people who practically rub the fact that nothing about his life works directly in his face. That’s the way I envision his motivations working.

Are there religious elements mixed in? Upbringing, culture, rhetoric? Sure. But it’s like I was telling my girlfriend yesterday: Omar Mateen is my age. A lot of Muslims growing up around the time I did didn’t really talk about homosexuality. It’s become a more salient issue in recent years with the trend towards legalizing marriage, but you have to remember that there was a time in this country not that long ago where you could be very homophobic and no one would call you out. That was pretty mainstream in a lot of places in the US- in some places it still is. It wasn’t on the radar in a lot of immigrant Muslim communities as an issue and so there wasn’t a lot of emotion or effort put into the homophobia. Accounts like this seem to confirm his bigotry was a recent obsession. I don’t know how much I trust this collage The Daily Beast put together, and with a lot yet undiscovered there may be a lot more here I simply don’t know about. But with San Bernadino, I was more cautious about coming out and saying the attackers wouldn’t be connected to ISIS or radical Islam. Here, my instincts and the facts are telling me he was just a frustrated asshole.


Gotta love Boing Boing dissonance here.


and now



Here but not in the case of those who did 9/11?


Exactly, It’s like people don’t grasp “Innocent until proven guilty”. We’ve had story after story about the FBI infiltrating various groups, police surveillance, peoples lives ruined by false positives and overzealous investigators. All of these stories show how people suffer because as soon as you are suspected, you become the perpetrator in the eyes of law enforcement. It’s not like those police procedurals where they track that one piece of ill-fitting evidence to the real killer. Law enforcement gets enough for an indictment or warrant and then arrests their suspect, whether or not they did it.



@Mindysan33 Hey, thanks :slight_smile:
@IronEdithKidd Wilderness is good. I’d recommend it - I’m far less annoyed and have more free time now and happy to just fling poop.

I did miss some of you and your insights.


And if the claims that he was a regular are true, there’s a lot of internalized hatred to deal with if he was exploring extremist views at the same time (although apparently not at any depth).


This is bullshit. You can’t demand that the cops instantly identify and arrest all the bad guys, while simultaneously demanding that they instantly identify and ignore all the good guys. The scale has to swing one way or the other. If you want freedom–and I do–you have to accept that you’re sacrificing some safety.


Different people on the internet have different opinions? Sometimes they’re even inconsistent? Somebody better convene a blogger ethics panel.


That pesky probable cause, makes you wish for a police state :-J


In the gun threads that follow a shooting here on BB, invariably there will be comments to the effect that “if we can’t just ban, can we please have a study by the CDC or somebody about gun violence?”

I’m inclined to think now that we should have such a study, but it does need to deal in depth with a couple of questions:

(1) In what percentage of America’s gun deaths was the shooter already well known to law enforcement? I would not be surprised to learn that it’s north of 80%.

(2) What constitutional actions can we take to reduce the possible threat posed by those individuals?


I’m trying and failing to understand the connection you’re trying to make?

9/11 weren’t American born likely gay citizens were they?


“US once investigated Orlando shooter over ties to bombing in Syria, but wasn’t arrested”

Imagine the hyperbole on BB if the FBI had arrested a gay, Muslim, Democrat with the amount of evidence they appear to have had in this case.


I don’t have national numbers, but a couple large city reports. In Milwaukee the homicide suspects are at 100-99% with a criminal history. Homicide and non-fatal shooting VICTIMS are around 77-82% with a criminal history.

There in lies the rub. You target people with pass records, or profile certain people you end up with harassment and racist tendencies in both enforcement and focus. Black lists such as the no fly list have little to no oversight, there is no recourse for the number of people incorrectly placed on it. Wide net surveillance ends up violating the rights and privacy of the vast majority innocent people caught in the net. THIS is why the FBI and NSA want to limit encryption and back doors to your devices. The question is, how much of your personal freedom and privacy are you willing to give up for them to possibly make you more secure?


If the evadince wasn’t there it wasn’t there. Claiming we ignored signs leads us into the kind of thinking that fearmongours want us to have; be terrified of everything not what we define as normal and right and give us power for your own safety.’

This guy was someone that wanted to be something other than a nobody and chose to kill people to achieve that.

May this fucker’s name be forgotten.


It sounds like not enough evidence was there to do anything more.

But yes, you highlight the problem.

Some times there is some evidence, they act on it, but it turns out that person is doing nothing wrong - and we cry out that the police/FBI/Government are abusing their authority.

Some times there is some evidence, but not enough to act on, but it turns out that person IS doing something wrong - and we cry out why didn’t the police/FBI/Government do their job?

It is a damn if you do/damned if you don’t sort of thing. And while I am quick to call out police and government shenanigans of abuse and over reach of authority, I do cut them some slack on grey areas because this sort of thing is rarely cut and dry. The whole police/crime drama where at the end the bad guy gets caught and either confesses or has 100% air tight forensic evidence is largely fantasy.