Powered by Topple

Omar Mateen’s US classmates recall how he celebrated 9/11, and made wild claims about Osama bin Laden

Powered by Topple

Want more hot BPR News stories? Sign up for our morning blast HERE

As more information comes to light about Omar Mateen, the man who opened fire in an Orlando nightclub on Sunday, we learn that he was the epitome of a home-grown Islamic terrorist.

A former co-worker described him as a devout Muslim who was “unhinged and unstable” and who harbored a hatred of women, blacks and homosexuals.

Prior to the bloody massacre, he reportedly called 911 and an Orlando cable news outlet and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist organization.

We now learn that his hatred of America goes back more than a decade.

Denver Fox 31 station KDVR reported that Mateen had claimed Osama bin Laden was his uncle and looked favorably upon the 911 attack, which took nearly 2,000 lives.

KDVR reported:

Two former high school classmates at two different schools remember Omar Mateen saying something to the effect that Osama bin Laden was his uncle. The classmates said that the September 11 attacks seemed to be a significant moment for him.

In an interview with CNN’s Drew Griffin, the imam at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center, Dr. Syed Shafeeq Rahman, says Mateen was playful and more social when young, but recently kept to himself. Mateen would come two or three times a week.


KDVR’s source on the two former classmates was a special edition of “Outfront,” in which CNN correspondent Brian Todd outlined his interviews with them to host Erin Burnett.

“We spoke with people who knew Mateen at two different schools in the Port St. Lucie area – at Martin County High School and at Spectrum Junior and Senior High School in Stuart, FL,” Todd reported.

More troubling, one of Mateen’s classmates, Robert Zirkle, said that while they were freshman at Martin County High School, he saw Mateen act excited and making fun of America on 9/11, The Washington Post reported.

“He was making plane noises on the bus, acting like he was running into a building,” Zirkle recalled, according to The Post. “I don’t really know if he was doing it because he was being taught some of that stuff at home or just doing it for attention because he didn’t have a lot of friends.”

He added that 9/11 was the turning point for Mateen.

“Before 9/11 happened, we were pretty straight. We all rode the same bus. We weren’t really close friends, but friends at least a little,” he said.

“After 9/11 happened, he started changing and acting different,” Zirkle said.

In a separate phone interview, another former classmate said he remembered Mateen acting out in class when the towers were hit because both of them were sent to the dean’s office at the same time for misbehaving. The former student spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared being overwhelmed by media requests.

“I was sleeping in class and woke up to see people jumping off buildings, so I started swearing and they sent me up,” the former student said. “But Omar was saying some really rude stuff. Stuff like, ‘That’s what America deserves.’ That kind of thing. It wasn’t right.”

Yet no one said a thing until it was too late.

Sign up for our morning blast HERE

Clip via Fox 31 Denver.


Latest Articles