A friend of mass murderer Omar Mateen says he tipped the FBI about suspcicious behavior Mateen displayed two years before his brutal shooting spree in an Orlando nightclub.
Mohammed Malik, in a commentary piece provided to Treasure Cost Newspapers and The Washington Post, wrote that he became concerned about Mateen in 2014 after a young man from their mosque killed himself and several Syrian troops in a suicide bombing. Malik said Mateen began listening to recordings of militant Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whom suicide bomber Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha had called his inspiration in a video he left behind.
Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico, was accused by the U.S. of planning terrorist strikes before he was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in September 2011.
“Omar told me he had been watching videos of Awlaki, too, which immediately raised red flags for me,” Malik wrote. “He told me the videos were very powerful.”
Malik, 43, said he met Mateen at a Ramadan meal — an iftar — in 2006. Mateen was a quiet teen then, he said. They chatted infrequently over the next eight years, until the Syrian suicide bombing in the summer of 2014 rocked their Florida Muslim community.
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