Watch CBS News

Orlando Gunman's Father: I Wish My Son 'Killed Himself' Outside Of US

ORLANDO (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The father of the Orlando nightclub gunman wishes his son "killed himself" somewhere outside of the United States.

Seddique Mir Mateen, the father of Omar Mateen, told Reuters he doesn't forgive his son for killing 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse early Sunday Morning.

"What he did was totally wrong. I don't approve of him of what he did," Mateen said. "As a father, I don't forgive him and he was living separately. If he had such a horrible idea, I wish he did go out of the United States and killed himself somewhere else."

FULL STORY |PHOTOS | Local Response5 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. | Info On Suspect | National Reaction |NYC Mourns

However, the father has come under fire for his previous comments about gay people, after a video surfaced showing him saying "God will punish those involved in homosexuality" and it's "not an issue that humans should deal with."

Mateen told CBS News that he didn't raise his son in the United States to become a terrorist.

"He doesn't have the right, nobody has the right to harm anything, anybody," he said. "What a person's lifestyle is, is up to him. It's a free country. Everybody has their own choice to live the way they want to live."

Mateen added that his son didn't raise any red flags for what was about to happen.

"If I did notice, I would have called," he told CBS News.

Sources said Omar Mateen had been on law enforcement's radar in the last five years, and that he was not under investigation at the time of the shooting.

Ron Hopper, the assistant FBI special agent in charge, said Sunday that they first became aware of Mateen in 2013 when he made inflammatory comments to co-workers about possible terrorist ties. Hopper said the FBI investigated the matter and interviewed Mateen twice, but were unable to verify the substance and the investigation was closed.

Hopper added that Mateen came to the attention of the FBI again in 2014 due to possible ties with American suicide bomber Moner Abu Salha. Hopper said that they determined that the contact was "minimal and did not constitute a substantive relationship or a threat at that time."

"Even though that he was my son, I don't want no father to go through what we are going through," Seddique Mir Mateen said. "I am very sad and I am very mad and angry. Why did he do that to the homeland? Those people died, they are our family."

Seddique Mir Mateen is a life insurance salesman who started a group in 2010 called Durand Jirga, Inc., according to Qasim Tarin, a businessman from California who was a Durand Jirga board member. The name refers to the Durand line, the long disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Tarin said Seddique Mir Mateen had a television show on which they discussed issues facing Afghanistan. He said Seddique Mir Mateen loves the U.S.

But a former Afghan official said the "Durand Jirga Show" appears on Payam-e-Afghan, a California-based channel that supports ethnic solidarity with the Afghan Taliban, which are mostly Pashtun. Viewers from Pashtun communities in the United States regularly call in to the channel to espouse support for Pashtun domination of Afghanistan over the nation's minorities, including Hazaras, Tajiks and Uzbeks, the official said.

The "Durand Jirga Show" expresses support for the Taliban, has an anti-Pakistan slant, complains about foreigners in Afghanistan and criticizes U.S. actions there, the official said. Seddique Mir Mateen lavished praise on current Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he appeared on the show in January 2014, but he has since denounced the Ghani government, according to the official, who said that on Saturday, Seddique Mateen appeared on the show dressed in military fatigues and used his program to criticize the current Afghan government.

He also announced on that show that he would run in the next Afghan presidential election, said the official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be linked to coverage of the shooting.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.