Omar Mateen, the Islamic terrorist responsible for at least 50 deaths after attacking a gay club in the Orlando, Florida area, has been linked to a radical Islamic school and individual by law enforcement. According to Fox News and their law enforcement source, Omar Mateen was reportedly a follower of Marcus Dwayne Robertson.
“It is no coincidence that this happened in Orlando,” said a law enforcement source familiar with Robertson’s history of recruiting terrorists and inciting violence. “Mateen was enrolled in [Robertson’s online] Fundamental Islamic Knowledge Seminary.”
Who is Marcus Dwayne Robertson?
- Former U.S. Marine
- Claimed to be a “secret CIA operative”
- Also known as Abu Tuba
- Served as the bodyguard for Omar Abdel Rahman also known as the Blind Sheik
- Reportedly was the leader of a gang of bank robbers in New York called “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.” They robbed a dozen banks, private homes, and post offices at gunpoint, allegedly committed murders, shot three police officers, and injured another cop with a homemade pipe bomb. They were known to use C4, hand grenades, and other explosive devices.
- Opened Timbuktu Seminary (an Islamic school in Orlando)
- Released from prison one year ago. Jailed for illegal weapons charges and tax fraud. Federal prosecutors tried to add additional terrorism charges but failed to make their case in court. He is known by federal law enforcement to influence others to carry out terrorist attacks
- There is no doubt that Marcus Robertson is a dangerous man, however, the federal government has failed to make their case to take him off the streets for an extended amount of time. If he is out of prison or put back in, he will continue to spread a radicalized version of Islam in either place. Solitary confinement with little to no interaction is recommended for this man.
Other Radical Influences
Omar Mateen is also reportedly linked to other radical sources, such as the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce led by Imam Shafiq Rahman and suicide bomber Monar abu Salha. Monar abu Salha attended the same mosque and had some contact with Omar Mateen prior to blowing himself up in Syria in 2014. Mateen’s connection to Salha was at the heart of the 2013 FBI’s investigation of Mateen. The investigation ended as the connection was deemed minimal. Fox News states,
That mosque was frequented by American-born suicide bomber Monar abu Salha, who blew himself up in Syria in 2014, and the two knew each other, according to officials. Mateen’s association with Salha led the FBI to interview him in 2014. Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Mike McCaul told Fox News law enforcement determined at the time their contact “was minimal.”
Currently law enforcement has not announced any direct links to ISIS domestically or overseas. ISIS has already publicly claimed responsibility for the attack via Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina gave more details about the negotiations between police and Mateen, “There was talk of bombs and explosives— plus a reference to ISIS.” His connection to ISIS could be in response to the audio message recently released by ISIS that calls on lone wolf attackers to strike against the US and Europe during the month of Ramadan.
The Guardian stated that Mateen claimed to his co-workers that he was connected to the Boston Marathon bombers. However, the FBI determined that he had lied about his connections after investigating his claims.
The FBI interviewed Mateen on two occasions in 2013 related to his purported connection to the Tsarnaev brothers, the first known time Mateen drew the attention of federal law enforcement. Ultimately, bureau investigators determined that Mateen had invented the connection and did not pose a security threat.
Based on his previous claim to know the Boston Marathon bombers, Mateen may have not had direct contact or only minimal contact with ISIS. There does not have to be a direct link to ISIS, just a seed of radicalized ideology needs to be planted to become fruitful. Marcus Robertson may have been his biggest influencer unless law enforcement finds some significant evidence on computer or additional personal connections.
Featured image of Omar Mateen is from MySpace