When it comes to Omar Mateen, the plot just gets thicker and thicker.
The terrorist responsible for the Orlando nightclub shooting has been identified as a radical Islamist with an allegiance to ISIS who also harbored homosexual tendencies that led to self-hatred. Those details alone make Mateen sound like quite the complex character, but recent claims make the entire situation even murkier.
In an interview with Univision, an alleged ex-lover of Mateen’s — using the name “Miguel” — claims the terrorist had decided to attack the Pulse nightclub as an act of revenge after he discovered that a Puerto Rican man he had engaged in a threesome with was HIV positive. Though subsequent HIV tests came back negative, Mateen was worried about the repercussions and set out for revenge at all costs.
Miguel also revealed that Mateen was highly attracted to Latino men, but felt like they always rejected him. This was never more apparent than at the Pulse nightclub that Mateen would inevitably target. It’s also important to note that Mateen chose to attack the club on Latin Night, when there would undoubtedly be an abundance of Latino men in attendance. His attack was planned out very methodically. He clearly knew exactly what he was doing. His intentions were crystal clear.
Instead of trying to pin down one specific cause of Mateen’s rampage, maybe it’s time to start considering the fact that all of the answers are correct. His Islamic ideology elicited self-hatred for being a gay man, and his rejection from Latinos — combined with the HIV scare — inspired him to use them as a target. The story is tragic all around, and none of these motives even come close to excusing Mateen’s actions, but they certainly make the situation more difficult to understand.
People — even maniacal terrorists — are often a lot more complicated than we have a tendency to give them credit for being. Omar Mateen is just another example of that.