Although Orlando gunman Omar Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack on the Pulse nightclub, a new report about Mateen has cast doubt on claims he was motivated primarily by radical Islam.
One of his alleged male lovers — who spoke with Univision on the condition of anonymity — claims that Mateen attacked the nightclub as “revenge” against Latino men after being exposed to the HIV virus.
The man, called “Miguel,” said that he and Mateen “met around 20 times, with the last meeting taking place in December.” He said Mateen never revealed his name, but divulged that he was 35 and married with a son.
Miguel told Univision that he believed Mateen’s wife was aware her husband frequented gay bars, and that the couple were in a sham marriage designed to hide the fact that he was “100 percent” gay.
Via CBS News:
“I’ve cried like you have no idea. But the thing that makes me want to tell the truth is that he didn’t do it for terrorism. In my opinion he did it for revenge,” the man who said he was Mateen’s lover for two months told Univision.
The man told Univision that the FBI has interviewed him three times about Mateen. Univision reported that FBI said they have met with the man.
“He adored Latinos, gay Latinos, with brown skin, but he felt rejected. He felt used by them,” the man said. “There were moments in the Pulse nightclub that made him feel really bad. Guys used him. That really affected him.”
The man claimed that Mateen was upset after having a sexual encounter with two Puerto Rican men after one of them revealed he was HIV positive.
“He was terrified that he was infected,” the man told Univision. “I asked him, ‘Did you do a test?’ Yes. He went to the pharmacy and did the test … it came out negative, but it doesn’t come out right away. It takes four, five months.
“When I asked him what he was going to do now, his answer was, ‘I’m going to make them pay for what they did to me.’”
Miguel said Mateen was a “very sweet guy,” and that he had met him last year through a gay dating app.
It has been widely reported that Mateen had frequented the Pulse nightclub and used gay social apps like Grindr and Jack’d before going on his murder rampage.
Twenty-three-year-old Orlando resident Cord Cedeno told NBC last week that he “instantly blocked Mateen because he was very creepy in his messages.”
According to the New York Post, at least two other gay men have claimed that Mateen used gay dating apps to try to connect with them.
This new information paints a picture of a very conflicted man, as he was previously on the FBI’s radar for having possible ties to (virulently anti-gay) Islamic terrorism. FBI Director James Comey said last week that he was “highly confident” that Mateen had been radicalized at least in part online. The FBI investigated him in 2013 and again in 2014, but closed the investigations after finding no ties between Mateen and any terror groups.