Multiple news outlets reported on Monday that the gunman who carried out the Orlando terrorist attack frequented the LGBTQ nightclub where he killed at least 49 people.
He also used multiple gay-dating apps, according to several people who had communicated with him on the apps.
And one of his former classmates told The Palm Beach Post that he believed Mateen was gay – something federal investigators are now reportedly looking into – and that Mateen once asked him out romantically.
The new developments about 29-year-old Mateen complicate his likely motives and his pledge of allegiance to ISIS – aka the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh – the terrorist group that has been known to throw gay people off of rooftops.
But ISIS might have a ready-made justification for claiming Mateen as a “soldier of the caliphate” despite the fact that homosexuality goes against the strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law the group brutally imposes.
“IS’ murderous hatred for homosexuals is well-known, so it might be expected that if it turns out that Mateen was a homosexual this would put them in something of a bind, but in fact IS has a rather easy theological get-out clause,” Kyle Orton, a Middle East analyst and fellow with the Henry Jackson Society, a UK-based foreign-policy think tank, told Business Insider in an email.
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