Orlando Shooting: Who Has the Answers? |Passutimes

Tazeen HassanTazeen Hasan is a freelance writer of Pakistani origin and has lived in the Middle East, South Asia and North America. She is currently based in Alberta, Canada. She tweets @Tazeenhasan


Tazeen Hasan | Passutimes 

Orlando night club massacre is the deadliest terrorism incident on American soil since 9/11 and the greatest hate crime against the LGBT community in the history after New Orleans gay night club arson which killed 32 people in 1973. According to Boston Globe , a gunman stormed the Pulse nightclub armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and a handgun about 2 a.m., just before closing, and fired more than 50 rounds killing 50 people and injuring 53 more. A three hour deadlock followed the initial assault during which he kept the others hostage until about 5 a.m. when law enforcement agencies raided the club and the gunman was killed in cross fire.

The horrific news has not only scared  the queer community who were the apparent target of the attack but has once again terrified  Muslim community already victimized of Islamophobia as the lone wolf killer is identified as Omar Mateen 29, a US citizen born to Afghani parents. The details about the bloody tragic incident are yet to arrive but the case seems to be the next episode of  San Bernardino shooting, where according to official statement, a Muslim couple opened fire in a party killing 14 people except that this time a specific community LGBTs  have been targeted.

Why there is no camera footage available? Is it possible that a gay night club is being operated without close circuit cameras?

The mass shooting and the FBI story has once again thrown up more questions than answers like the San Bernardino shooting six months earlier. The police and FBI have not made it public how the killer has been identified? When the individuals were constantly texting from inside why police and SWAT team reached at the incident three hours later? Why there is no camera footage available? Is it possible that a gay night club is being operated without close circuit cameras? or Did the killer destroy all closed circuit cameras?  Above all, what drove him to perpetrate such brutal act of violence when there are no traces of his previous connections with any terrorist group? From where did he get the necessary training to carry out the mass murder with military precision?

A single man can kill 50 people but how can he keep the whole night club hostage for three hours?   A nine second Snap Chat clip of shooting is available in an independent UK report claimed to be captured during the shooting. The video clip shows that  24 rounds were fired in nine seconds but surprisingly they have been shot while keeping the hands stationary. If a lone killer was prepared to kill several people he should have to move his hands in all directions swiftly.

How can a lone killer make a crowded  night club hostage and at the same time call 911 and pledge allegiance to the ISIS and after killing several people began searching the hidden ones until he kills each and every witness?

mother’s story is circulating in the news who received text messages from her son Eddie Justice from inside the night club during the shooting. According to the story, the son hid in the women’s bathroom at the beginning of the shooting and messaged his mother for the next 30 minutes before he was found and killed by the alleged killer.

How can a lone killer make a crowded  night club hostage and at the same time call 911 and pledge allegiance to the ISIS and after killing several people began searching the hidden ones until he kills each and every witness? That kind of operation requires military precision and the killer must be finely trained but FBI says he had no apparent criminal record. Strange.

Above all, what were the motives of the killer? What drove him to kill?  Instead of the hijacker’s passport found in the rubble of  World Trade Center which had fallen from the hijacked plane in 9/11 terror attacks,  now the terrorists are preferring to leaving their marks on Facebook. But  for some unexplainable reasons,  the Orlando killer called  911 during the massacre to pledge allegiance to the IS. This move doesn’t make sense at all.  Are 911 people representatives of the ISIS? Or is ISIS suggesting would-be-killers to inform 911 during the shooting?

The gunman bears no apparent criminal record like San Bernardino couple.  According to FBI, Mateen was twice investigated by FBI for possible connections to terrorism in 2012 and 2013 but no ties could be confirmed and the FBI closed investigations. And as usual ISIS has triumphantly accepted the responsibility of the attacks through Amaq News Agency.

Like San Bernardino shooting, the local community leaders denied that they have sensed any signs of radicalization in the alleged killer.  Syed Shafeeq Rehman,  imam of the local mosque that Mateen attended says,  “Although he was not very social, he also showed no signs of violence….. He [was] very peaceful.”

Rahman said he had known  Mateen and his family since the shooter was a young boy. Playful as a child, he became more serious as an adult. He was not, as far as the imam could see, someone who would ever commit such a gruesome act of mass violence. Rehman last saw Mateen on Friday night. The other attendees of the mosque endorsed the imam that they did not find any signs of extremism in Mateen’s attitude. Is it possible that close people who know someone from childhood do not recognize changes in a would be terrorist?

NBC News reports that Mateen’s father, Mir Seddique, told  the law enforcement agencies his son had become angry a couple of months ago when he saw two men kissing in Miami, and he believed that could be related to the shooting. Being angry a few months before and opening fire in a crowded night club and killing 50 people?  These two statements can hardly be joined in a single sentence.  How is it possible for a 29-year-old young man born in the United States to not notice gay couples? And if he hated LGBT’s why he didn’t react before?

Muslim community has never been involved in hate crimes against LGBTs in the US history.

There is considerable violence against LGBT communities in North America and surprisingly only one convict belongs to Muslim faith. Muslim community has never been involved in hate crimes against LGBTs in the US.

Once again, like the San Bernardino shooting, no eye witness have been shown to identify the killer but it would not be hard for FBI and police if they want to bring forward witnesses. After all who is going to verify the witnesses?

“How can a lone gunman, apparently inspired by ISIS, and known to the FBI, makes his way into a popular gay venue on a busy weekend night and leave devastation and murder in his wake, before he is eventually shot by the police?  Furthermore what drove him to do so??,”  asks Andrew Buncombe of the Independent newspaper.

Many questions regarding San Bernardino mass shooting are still unanswered. There are many discrepancies and loopholes in FBI story in both these tragic incidents . Media should come forward and instead of repeating official version of the horrible crime must carryout serious investigations to find out the answers. LGBT community has declared that they do not feel themselves safe in this environment of Queerphobia and the victims of Islamophobia feel more or less the same way.

Original Source : Binti Farid | Carvan Daily

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