Thursday, June 16, 2016

Was Omar recruited while on Humra and in UAE in 2011-12? What are the statistics of possible recruitments and/or defections during Hajj and/or Humrah?

Q: Was Omar recruited while on Humra and in UAE in 2011-12? 
What are the statistics of possible recruitments and/or defections during Hajj and/or Humrah?
-

Mateen's twin trips to Saudi Arabia raise suspicions

1 Share
Orlando gunman Omar Mateen’s two trips to Saudi Arabia, one of which was a pricey package that included four-star accommodations and fancy meals, were highly unusual and may have been cover for terror training, according to experts.
The FBI is piecing together Mateen’s radical Islam roots, and the trips to Saudi Arabia could be a sign of his growing religious devotion. His stated reason for both the 2011 and 2012 trips was umrah, a Muslim pilgrimage to the Kingdom that is not as significant as the hajj, a trip all Muslims must make to Mecca at least once in their lives. Either or both of the trips could also have included a side trip.
“It's very possible for someone to take a trip to a country like Saudi Arabia and declare it as their destination when it is in actuality just a pit stop to a different country like Yemen,” said Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for Clarion Project, a New York-based research institute that tracks global terrorism. “Based on his blatant extremism and ties to a convicted Orlando imam known for facilitating international jihadists traveling, the strong likelihood is that these trips were not benign.”
Expand / Contract
Mateen's 2011 trip cost around $4,000, and was followed by another the next year.
A Saudi Ministry of Interior spokesman onfirmed that Mateen twice performed the umrah Islamic pilgrimage and that travel records showed he also visited the United Arab Emirates on one of the trips. But he said Saudi officials, who closely surveil tourists deemed to be a terror threat, had no evidence Mateen traveled to Yemen of made contact with known extremists during his visits to the Kingdom."
Mateen, 29, killed 49 people and wounded 53 inside the gay nightclub Pulse early Sunday, holding dozens hostage for hours before a SWAT team stormed the building and killed him in a gun battle. While holding captives, Mateen made multiple calls to 911, professing his allegiance to ISIS and support for the Muslim brothers who bombed the 2013 Boston Marathon, police said.
When Mateen aligned himself with terrorists is not yet clear, but his trips to Saudi Arabia would have put him within a day’s drive of Yemen, where Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula has long had a large presence, and where ISIS also has gained a foothold in recent years. Several radicalized Americans have traveled to Yemen to train in terror camps.
Mateen’s first trip to Saudi Arabia was for 10 days, and the jaunt a year later was for eight. The 2011 trip was arranged by U.S.-based Islamic travel agency Dar El Salam and was a package the company calls the “Sacred Caravan Umrah.”
The package costs up to $4,000 and is generally comprised of four nights at four-star accommodations in Mecca and six nights in Medina, complete with buffet meals, sightseeing and religious studies and lectures.
The travel agency did not respond to a request for comment.
The second trip included a stop in the United Arab Emirates, but the exact itinerary of either trip is not known. The FBI, which searched Mateen’s condominium in Fort Pierce, Fla., overnight Sunday and into Monday morning, taking a computer and several other items, declined to comment on what investigators may have learned about Mateen’s travels.
Muslim leaders said it was unusual for Mateen to have made two visits to Saudi Arabia in consecutive years -- the first when he was just 24.
"It's not cheap to do so and people that young usually don't go twice,” said Adnan Khan, former leader of the Council of Pakistan-American Affairs. “And especially considering he appeared not to have come from a staunchly religious background."
Two trips in as many years is a bright red flag, said Mauro.
“A single trip to Saudi Arabia could be attributed to the mandatory hajj or umrah, but the second trip and the visit to the UAE suggest that his stated reason for traveling was a cover,” he said. “Even if the trip included legitimate religious travel, it does not mean the activity was limited to that.”
One umrah is usually enough for a Muslim, said Timothy Furnish, an expert in Islamic history and consultant to the Pentagon,  
"The fact that Mateen made two of those would suggest that he felt he had many sins needing rectifying and/or he was not engaged solely in religious activity but meeting with someone in Saudi Arabia," Furnish said.
Mateen was born in New York to Afghan immigrants. People that knew him have said he was not overtly religious, but often expressed anger and a deep hatred of minorities. He had once aspired to be a police officer, was trained with weapons and worked for an international security firm after being fired from a job as a prison guard.
The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Neighbors in the quiet condominium complex where Mateen lived with his 3-year-old son and wife, Noor Zahi Salman, said the couple kept to themselves and did not wear religious garb.
"We were all shocked when we found out," one neighbor told <a href="http://FoxNews.com" rel="nofollow">FoxNews.com</a>. "The most activity I ever saw from the apartment was his girlfriend -- or wife -- walking to the mailbox and back with their child."
However, sources say Mateen had a large collection of Islamic literature in his home, and people who knew him said he had expressed support for various terrorist groups.
Born in New York in 1986 as Omar Mir Seddique, the killer filed for an official name change in 2006 to Omar Mir Seddique Mateen -- "Mateen" meaning "strong/powerful" in Arabic tradition.
-

Omar Mateen and 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting ("6/12/2016"): Quotes and Questions for Investigations: Were Omar Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha close friends (despite Matin's assertions to the contrary in the FBI interviews and their assessment of their ties as "casual")? Is Omar the same person whom abu-Salha described as "a friend" in his last video? Did abu-Salha stay in Omar's house when he was in Florida? Was there a "suicide pact" between them?

Omar Mateen and 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting ("6/12/2016"): Quotes and Questions for Investigations
_____________________________________


Were Omar Mateen and Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha close friends (despite Matin's assertions to the contrary in the FBI interviews and their assessment of their ties as "casual")? Is Omar the same person whom abu-Salha described as "a friend" in his last video? Did abu-Salha stay in Omar's house when he was in Florida? 
Was there a "suicide pact" between them? 

-

Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, American Suicide Bomber, Says He Was Being Watched By FBI In US

1 Share
The American Islamist who carried out a suicide bombing in Syria in May said that he fled the United States because he believed he was under surveillance by the FBI, according to a video released Wednesday. In an earlier video released by the militant group al-Nusra, Abu-Salha was shown burning his American passport
Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, a Palestinian American also known as Abu Hurayra al-Amriki, drove a truck bomb into a restaurant filled with Syrian government troops in Jabal Al-Arba'een on May 25. According to the New York Times, Abu-Salha's attack killed 37 people. 
In the video, Abu-Salha says, “I stayed with my friend's family [in Florida]... The reason why I had to stay with them is that, the state I was in, I was being watched by the FBI. I finally realized that I was being watched by them. So I had to flee back to my state to throw them off and make them think that I was somewhere else in the United States.”
The most recent video is the third one featuring Abu-Salha released by the militant group al-Nusra.  
In the video, Abu-Salha also tells of a friend in Florida who had promised to join him in jihad, but abandoned him at the airport just before they were supposed to leave together.
“I bought the tickets [for travel to the Middle East] for me and my friend and... what happened was, he was acting very strange. He wasn't talking and was thinking a lot," Abu-Salha says in the video. “When I was waiting for my flight, I told my friend to watch my stuff while I [prayed]. When I came back, my bag was there but he was gone... It hurt me so much because I love my friend... But I forgive him.”
NBC News reports that members of Abu-Salha's family said that he had traveled to Texas and then returned to Florida in 2013. He reportedly travelled to and received training in Syria in 2012.
Abu-Salha, who describes his journey to join the fight in Syria via Turkey, also claims he was inspired by the lectures of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Islamic cleric, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen three years ago.
“In a lecture, Anwar al-Awlaki said when you make [the trip to fight in jihad] it's like a cliff. Jump off the cliff, but you don't know if the water is deep or shallow. You don't know if there's rocks or if it’s going to be very deep. You just have to jump and put your faith in Allah that it's going to be deep and you won't be harmed, that you’re going to be safe after you land in the water."
-

Senate Committee requests F.B.I 's records Of Omar Mateen Invest

1 Share
A new Senate letter says Orlando gunman Omar Mateen made a series of Facebook posts before and during Sunday's attack, including blasting the "filthy ways of the West" and blaming the United States for the deaths of "innocent women and children."
The letter, from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, says Mateen in one post pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State. Another said "America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic State."  According to the letter, he also searched that morning for "Pulse Orlando" and "Shooting."
A Senate committee is asking the FBI to turn over its files on Orlando gunman Omar Mateen. In a letter Wednesday to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs asked the FBI to provide records related to two previously closed investigations concerning Mateen. The committee also requested details of the placement and removal of Mateen from a terrorist watch list, any prior visits to the Pulse nightclub or Walt Disney World before the attack and his travel to Saudi Arabia.
           In addition, the committee said it wanted information about Mateen's use of social media before and during the attack, and the FBI's communication with state and local law enforcement about Mateen's comments about terrorism prior to the attack.
Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen passed a psychological evaluation in 2007 as part of his application to be a private security guard. Florida records show Mateen was determined to be mentally and emotionally stable in September 2007 so he could work for The Wackenhut Corp., later renamed G4S Secure Solutions. The records state he took a written psychological test or had an evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist. Mateen also stated in his 2007 firearm application that he neither had been diagnosed with a mental illness nor had a history of alcohol or substance abuse.
An Orlando hospital says six people wounded in the nightclub shooting are still in critical condition. The Orlando Regional Medical Center said Wednesday that four people are in guarded condition, an improvement from a day early when five people were in that condition.  The hospital says they are still treating 25 people there. Doctors have warned that the death toll from the shooting could rise.  Forty-nine people were killed and more than 50 people wounded when a gunman opened fire on the Pulse nightclub early Sunday.

1 Share

Orlando gunman Omar Mateen had a conversation with suicide bomber, says friend

Daily Mail - ‎4 hours ago‎
A former classmate of Orlando gunman Omar Mateen claims she once saw him in deep conversation with a man who became the first known American suicide bomber in Syria. The friend claimed the conversation between Mateen, who fatally shot 49 people ...

Omar Mateen, suicide bomber seen at party in serious conversation

Palm Beach Post - ‎17 hours ago‎
A movie was playing on TV, Orlando shooter Omar Mateen's former high school classmate remembers, when she arrived at a co-worker's house for a get-together five years ago. The gathering was small — a few more than a dozen people — so she ...
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to those already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
-