Mass Casualty Attack on Orlando Gay Bar

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Yazata, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    It happened last night at the crowded bar's closing time. Approximately 50 dead and another 50 - 100 wounded, many of them critically. They are calling for blood donations.

    The shooter was a man named Omar Seddiq Matteen, a US-born US citizen with Afghan immigrant parents. He was 27 years old, married with a wife from Uzbekistan, and was a licensed security officer with a special Florida firearms licence and firearms training. His father said that the sight of gay men kissing made his son angry, but denied that the attack had anything to do with religion.

    The FBI was already aware of Omar, they say that he did have radical Islamist leanings (and perhaps contacts with ISIS), the FBI investigated him in 2013 and 2014, but there weren't any current investigations underway concerning him.

    Just a few days ago Islamic State internet accounts warned of a coming attack in Florida to coincide with Ramadan. They are showing Mateen's photo on their websites and boasting about the attack. It's still unclear whether they pre-planned it or whether this is another 'lone wolf'.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  3. Bells Staff Member

    How horrific!

    Where does one even begin with this? The hatred, homophobia, bigotry that could lead someone to doing something like this. And I'm not even touching on how he was able to have that much ammo and the type of weapon to shoot that many people that quickly.. I am sure that will come after..

    Right now, it's the absolute hatred. And the father's reasoning or, well, ridiculous comment, that his son was angry when he saw men kissing. I'm sorry, so that is less offensive than if it was religiously motivated? The whole 'it's not religious, it was his seeing men kissing that made him angry' type of argument.. As thought that's an actual excuse.

    Wouldn't this qualify as a hate crime and an act of terror? Because I'm seeing hate crime when someone shoots up a gay nightclub because that someone was angry when he saw gay men kissing..
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  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    pop psych.

    The most radical homophobes are reacting to the sense of self loathing generated by their own homosexual imaginings/cravings.
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    In April, an imam was preaching in Orlando that gays should be killed as an "act of compassion".

    "Death is the sentence. We know. There's nothing to be embarrassed about this. Death is the sentence."

    The Islamic State's news agency AMAQ is claiming responsibility for the attack.

    It's interesting that this guy was on the FBI's radar but apparently dropped off when they concluded he probably wasn't a threat. That was true of the older Tsarnaev brother in the Boston bombing as well. That will inevitably be looked at.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    We apparently fell into a news vacuum at an inopportune time and didn't learn about the tragedy till late. It wasn't until Obama made his speech that the LGBT aspect finally started to be mentioned on the television coverage we were surfing. I'm not sure what was behind that reluctance -- whether it was uncertainty about it being politically proper to associate violent Islamic fundamentalist urges with hate-crime or another reason.
  9. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Interesting thought. My guess is that they will dance around the issue in a desperate attempt to avoid the question.
  10. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The attack took place while I was asleep and I only woke up to it hours later. The news coverage I saw was was already talking about the gay nightclub aspect. That was immediately obvious since the site is well known in Orlando. The police were treating it as a hostage situation for the first three hours apparently, while I was asleep, but finally decided to send in SWAT who used flash-bang grenades and crashed an armored car through the building's wall. A gun battle resulted and the attacker was killed. One cop was shot in the head, but his kevlar helmet saved him. I'm guessing (but don't know) that 3 hour delay probably contributed to the deaths of some of the people who were shot and wounded, when immediate medical treatment is critical. They may have bled to death on the nightclub floor.

    The fact that the attacker was a radical Muslim only came out later. I don't blame the news media for that delay, since it took a while for the police to identify him and for the FBI to comment on him.

    I think that the authorities and the news are being very good about getting information out quickly.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    I figured it had been mentioned earlier, before some "period of caution" or whatever was going on intervened. But if I hadn't come across your thread here first I would have been completely oblivious in the course of watching circa an hour of television news coverage that it was a gay night club and the attack was a potential hate-crime. Not until after Obama's speech did it seem like a floodgate was lifted and suddenly it was "okay" to talk about that and caption it, even having surviving patrons being interviewed finally address it again.
  12. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The FBI has just said at a news conference that in 2013 Mateen first came to the attention of the FBI because of statements made to coworkers where Mateen boasted of terrorist connections. They called the FBI who apparently found no evidence to support that. Then in 2014, the FBI reopened an investigation because Mateen came up as an associate of some suicide bomber. The FBI decided that the association was tangential and nothing substantive, so they closed that investigation too. He wasn't currently on any watch lists.

    It seems that Mateen dialed 911 during the time the Orlando police were besieging him and made some statements to the dispatcher, which the Washington Post says included a pledge of allegiance to Islamic State. The FBI says they are still studying those recordings and that they are "federal evidence".
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    An interesting conundrum: A [minority] has the same right to be an asshole as a [empowerment majority].

    Most Americans are actually dealing with this part reasonably well, but it puts people on edge; we're trying very hard to look at these issues as a manner of domestic disgruntlement, just like the white guy who shoots up the post office, or a church, or the office, &c.

    When a Muslim brought terror to Seattle's gay community a couple years ago, people refused to make it about enemies abroad just because he was Muslim; this was an asshole trying to kill people for being gay, and that's all there was to it.

    It seems an important point, though I admit it's a little harder to fit into the larger scheme. And the contrast is to figure out what it means compared to the Shoney's incident (they must be plotting), or shaking down a Muslim for taking a photo (he must be casing). I don't have an answer for that, but not only are the people on, for lack of better term, "my side" in a general context pertaining to these issues ready to put down any baiting talk, it seems the people from that nebulous "other side", who often try to tie everything having to do with Muslims and various Muslim-related ethnic heritages to international terror, are also showing some degree of restraint. Unfortunately, this latter might well be forced by stupid political violence in South Carolina and Colorado, and our long unwillingness to call Christian terrorism by its name. But one of the fascinating things about these moments is watching Americans somehow fail to lose their shit. Amid everything else wrong with a day like today, there is this hopeful glimmer.

    Of course, it also comes with its shadow: We're getting better at this.
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    It's just what happens in a society where everybody has guns. Every nutter that goes crazy can just blow people away. I've little sympathy. It happens as regular as clockwork in the USA and we always get this handwringing.

    Get rid of the damned guns.
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    That didn't help in Paris. In fact, the death toll there was much worse. Gun control will not stop terrorists.
    Russ_Watters, Yazata and Bowser like this.
  16. mathman Valued Senior Member

    It will not stop them, but it does make it a lot harder for them.
  17. timojin Valued Senior Member

    The individual was dumb he did not have respect for life , he did not have the fear of God. Guns are security blankets for dumb people who do not think of consequences.
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    That's just it. I don't see it as an individual thing. Homosexuality is believed by many Muslims to be punishable by death in Islamic law. So what Omar Mateen did was obedience to and fear of God in his estimation and in the estimation of hundreds of millions like him. Salafism, while certainly not the only variety of Islam in existence, is currently very popular in the Islamic world as is the idea that their civilization's current weakness vis-a-vis the West and the corruption of their own leaders is best solved by return to the social order that God supposedly commanded of all Muslims in the 7th century.

    The problem that we face is that two fundamentally incompatible historical traditions are colliding with each other. The Europeans imposed themselves on Islam with their colonialism, and the Muslims haven't forgotten. Now they are imposing themselves on the Western world. (Too bad for the homosexuals, I guess.)
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  19. Bells Staff Member

    It's not just Muslims though.

    It is safe to say that homophobia exists across all religious groups.

    For example, 6 hours after the massacre in Orlando, police in California arrested a man who was planning to attack a gay pride parade/event a few hours later.

    Police in Santa Monica, California, arrested a man intent on attacking a nearby gay pride parade on Sunday, hours after a terrorist opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing at least 50 and wounding over 50 more people in the worst mass shooting attack in modern U.S. history.

    20-year-old James Wesley Howell was arrested in Santa Monica after assault rifles and chemicals capable of creating an explosive device were found in his vehicle early Sunday morning, police say. He reportedly admitted to officials that he was planning to “harm” the West Hollywood gay pride parade that was taking place about seven miles away later Sunday.

    Howell was first reported as a prowler by concerned neighbors around 5:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Officers responded to the location and made contact with Howell, who was seated in a white four-door Acura sedan with Indiana license plates, according to the police.

    Heriberto Gomez, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, told the Associated Press that he stepped outside at 3 a.m. Sunday to check the streets and noticed the sedan parked the wrong way in the street.

    Gomez said that he then saw a man run across the street to hide in the bushes while looking back at him.


    “Further investigation led to the recovery of three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition,” police spokesman Lt. Saul Rodriguez said. “Additionally, officers discovered a 5 gallon bucket with chemicals capable of forming an improvised explosive device. All items were returned from Howell’s vehicle.” A police bulletin sent to officers on Sunday said camouflage and a security badge were also discovered inside Howell’s vehicle.

    There is no indication that Howell is Muslim or connected to ISIS.

    One could question how he came to own 3 assault rifles and high capacity magazines and ammo, but really, when you have a mix of hatred, bigotry (in this case homophobia) and guns that are easily available without much restriction, something is going to give and it is giving. If this guy hadn't been caught before he attacked that gay pride parade, what then? There wouldn't have been ISIS to blame for this one.

    People are focusing on ISIS and Islamic terrorism while ignoring the giant whale flapping about in the middle of the room.

    Matteen picked his target because of his blatant homophobia and bigotry. He was successful in his attack. Howell also picked his target because of his homophobia and bigotry and had planned enough in advance to have a security badge and camo gear, along with weapons and chemicals that could make an explosive device, on hand in his car, for an event that would have taken place a few hours later. To wit, he appears to have driven from Indiana with the specific intent of attacking a gay pride parade in California. The only reason he was unsuccessful at present was because a guy came out of his house in the middle of the night and noticed a strange car and him lurking and hiding in the bushes. Had he not called the police, attacks on LGBT in the last few hours in the US would have been just that much more horrific.

    Yes, as Timojin states, guns are a security blanket for the weak and frankly, the downright stupid and crazy. But is that really a valid argument? Do we want the crazy and the bigoted hateful weak individuals, like these two people, to have such a ready access to guns to protect what they probably believe is their belief or their way of life? Does it really become a valid response? To wit, I would be (and am) more concerned that someone who is that crazy and hateful was able to access guns like this to begin with.
  20. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Omar Mateen worked for G4S security, the largest private security contractor in the world.

    The company says that they provide security for 90% of US nuclear power plants.

    They provide security services to local, state and federal governments, including the State Department and Homeland Security.

    They also provide security for ports and airports, 'critical infrastructure', transit systems and all sorts of corporate security. They apparently also provide secure communications networks.

    So... how could an individual who boasted of terrorist connections, was an associate of a suicide bomber, who generated concern among his coworkers and was investigated twice by the FBI work for a company like that, deeply involved in preventing terrorist attacks? It raises questions about employee background checks and ease of infiltration.

    I'm sure that the security agencies and Congress will be looking closely at that.

    It isn't just the US.

    In Britain, G4S has the contract to provide security for the Royal Mint and was the lead security contractor for the London Olympics, before that unraveled and the British Army had to be called in.

    They are very active in Belgium and the nuclear security guard whose death created some consternation around the time of the Brussels attacks was a G4S employee.

    Their South African branch is the largest private employer in Africa, with 120,000 employees. They provide an air transport, mine security, and critical infrastructure protection throughout the continent.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Response to a Terror Sympathizer

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Click for horror.


    (1) Daa'ish appreciates your contribution to their validation.

    (2) American queers will stand; we have practice with people trying to kill us in the name of their religion. In the context of your pro-Daa'ish culture-war messaging, it's worth pointing out bloodthirsty, delusional, hatemongering American Christians were good practice.​

    I don't know what your problem is, man, but stop sympathizing with terrorism.
  22. Confused2 Registered Senior Member

    The BBC reports texts from Eddie Justice:-

    "Mommy I love you", read the first message Mina Justice received from her son Eddie Justice at 02:06 EST (06:06 GMT) on Sunday morning.

    "In club they shooting", the next text read.

    'I'm gonna die'

    Mina was asleep but was woken by the text. She tried calling her son, but he did not answer, so she texted him instead.

    "U ok?" she typed out.

    He replied, "Trapp in bathroom" a minute later, before telling her he was at Pulse, asking her to call police.

    Over the next few minutes Mina frantically sent a series of texts, telling Eddie she was calling them and asking him to answer his phone.

    At 02:39, he said: "He's coming. I'm gonna die".

    Mina asked her son, who worked as an accountant and lived in central Orlando, which bathroom he was in and if anyone was hurt.

    "Lots. Yes," was his response.

    She then told him that police were there and to let her know when he saw them. She also asked him if the man was in the bathroom with him.

    "He's a terror," he replied at 02:50, before sending his last text.


    There was no response after that. Eddie Jamoldroy Justice's name appeared as the ninth name on the running list of those killed in the attack.
  23. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    G4S's stock supposedly took a a 5 percent dive Monday. There's the correlation bugbear, though: That might still fall under the normal range of its routine fluctuations.

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