George Graham

Don’t Give ISIS Credit



shooterI don’t think Omar Mateen’s devastating terror attack was caused by ISIS or any other Islamic sect. It looks to me like the work of his own personal demons.

He was a dangerously unstable human being. His ex-wife (above) described him as “deeply disturbed and traumatized.” Their marriage lasted only a few months before she fled his beatings and his sudden outbursts of rage.

According to an article in The Guardian:

Sitora Yusifiy was married to Mateen for four months in 2009 until her family was forced to “literally rescue me” after he kept her “hostage”, she said on Sunday in Colorado….

“A few months after we were married I saw his instability, I saw his bipolar, and he would get mad out of nowhere, and that’s when I started worrying about my safety.

Then after a few months he started abusing me physically, very often, and not allowing me to speak to my family, and keeping me hostage from them,” she said.

She said her family arrived to rescue her from Mateen “and had to pull me out of his arms”.

It’s clear that Mateen was mentally ill and it was his illness that drove him to commit mass murder. But why pick on gays?

Was he conflicted about his own sexuality? Possibly. It has happened to others.

His ex-wife said in a recent TV interview that she thought Mateen had “homosexual tendencies.” And one of his former classmates told the Palm Beach Post they went to gay bars together in college and Mateen once asked him out “romantically.”

Mateen was also seen previously frequenting the gay nightclub where he acted out his maniacal hostility. And he posted on a gay dating site.

Was he looking for a gay relationship? Or was he just doing research for his attack?

We may never know.

But we know enough to conclude that Omar Mateen was a conflicted and tormented creature, a human bomb just waiting for something to trigger a deadly explosion.

Was it ISIS that lit his fuse? He pledged allegiance to the terrorist group. But he also bragged about knowing the Boston Marathon bombers, and that was a lie. My guess is that he was just a showoff, a narcissistic blowhard likely to do or say anything to get attention.

Even if ISIS propaganda played a part in the nightmare, I would hesitate to give the despicable sect the credit they are seeking.

If ISIS hadn’t set Mateen off, something else surely would have.

This most recent horror looks to me like a mental health and gun control issue, with religious terrorism only peripherally involved.

Click for the Guardian article.

Mateen’s “homosexual tendencies”

Palm Beach Post story

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for