As investigators continue to dig into Orlando gunman Omar Mateen’s background, they are having trouble finding any evidence of the classic radicalization process that fits most self-starter jihadist profiles.
As most now know, Mateen had pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a 9-11 call during the attack. But according to a report from NPR, investigators say Mateen’s profile is more like that of a “typical mass shooter” than an individual radicalized by the so-called Islamic State.
As NPR‘s Dina Temple-Raston reports, intelligence officials and investigators say they’re “becoming increasingly convinced that the motive for this attack had very little — or maybe nothing — to do with ISIS.”
“We know that during the attack the gunman posted messages on Facebook saying he was doing this on behalf of ISIS. But officials have yet to find any of the precursors usually associated with radicalization. They’ve interviewed dozens of people who either knew him or had contact with Mateen.”
“And they say that they’ve yet to find any indication that he became noticeably more religious, which is one of the indicators of radicalization. He still was going to the same mosque. The way he dressed didn’t change. His relationship with his family didn’t change in any way. And these are all typically warning signs that parents and friends and educators are told to look for if they’re worried that someone they’re close to is radicalizing.”
Temple Raston is careful to point out that the revelations “aren’t science,” but notes how struck investigators are about Mateen’s “biography adheres to profiles that they associate with typical mass shooters.”
“He was bullied as a kid in school. He had well-documented behavioral problems. He was aggressive toward other kids. As he got older, things didn’t get much better. He took steroids, he jumped from job to job, he had a history of domestic violence. And all these things together fit into a mass shooter’s profile.”
Mateen was killed in a shootout with police after he killed 49 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida last Sunday.
Listen to NPR‘s report on the story in the audio below: