Omar Mateen, the Orlando terrorist who killed at least 50 and injured as many in an assault on a gay night club Sunday morning, took an online course run by a radical Imam who spent four years in prison, Fox News reports.
The outlet reported Monday that Mateen was a member of an online group run by former U.S. Marine Marcus Dwayne Robertson, who now goes by “Abu Taubah.” Robertson leads the Fundamental Islamic Knowledge group in Florida.
Robertson worked for Omar Abdel-Rahman, “the Blind Sheik,” who was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center Attack, as a bodyguard—and now runs the Islamic Sanctuary he started in Florida. During the time Robertson served as a body guard to Omar Abdel Rahman, he led the group of “Ali Baba and the forty thieves” as they robbed post offices, banks, and homes at gunpoint.
Robertson now has thousands of followers, who have listened to him preach against homosexuality.
“FoxNews.com has reported extensively on Robertson, a former U.S. Marine who served as a bodyguard to the Blind Sheik involved in the 1993 World Trade Center Attack and led a gang of New York bank robbers called ‘Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves’ before resurfacing in Orlando, where he started an Islamic seminary,” Fox News reports. “The school, recently renamed the Timbuktu Seminary, is operated by Robertson, a 47-year-old firebrand known to his thousands of followers as Abu Taubah.”
Fox notes that law enforcement evidence has shown Robertson actively encouraging students in his Islamic teaching group to travel abroad for suicide bomber training. According to prosecutors Robertson is “…focused on training others to commit violent acts as opposed to committing them himself”… Overseas instead of inside the United States,” Fox reported.
Robertson also had a reputation for violence in prison. Considered to be so dangerous in the John E. Polk Correctional Facility, he was kept and shackles and had his own guards. A seven car escort was required whenever he was transported to court, and he was placed in solitary confinement after it was “believed he was radicalizing up to 36 fellow prisoners,” Fox News reported.
Mateen has multiple connections to undesirable characters, as he was with Radical Imam Shafiq Rahman of the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce just two evenings prior to massacre at Pulse—according to the Washington Post.
Both his ex-wife and an ex-coworker have come out and publicly described him as a violent man. Mateen’s ex-wife Sitora Yusifiy told the Washington Post that she left him because he repeatedly beat her for trivial matters, such as unfinished laundry. Daniel Gilroy, the former coworker, described Mateen as a person “full of anger” who would routinely talk about his desire to massacre black people, Jewish people, women, and gays.