TEL AVIV – The Orlando terrorist’s employment at a prestigious security firm should raise alarms for Jewish groups seeking independent security solutions, a Jewish industry insider told JTA.
“The Jewish community has come to rely on private security professionals. We need to consider who to hire,” Paul Goldenberg, the director of Secure Community Network, told the news agency on Sunday.
“We need to rethink the process and not depend on the lowest bidder.”
Omar Mateen, a security guard for G4S, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the shooting spree in which he murdered 50 people at an Orlando nightclub early Sunday. G4S released a statement saying that there were “no adverse findings” in both of its screenings of Mateen.
However, NBC reported that the FBI had screened Mateen on at least two occasions, once in 2013 following complaints by coworkers that he made inciting statements about radical Islam.
Daniel Gilroy, who worked alongside Mateen, told USA Today he had informed G4S about Mateen’s “toxic” homophobic and racist comments, but “the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.”
Goldenberg lamented the fact that security staff are often subjected to minimal screening and training as well as being paid minimum wage.
“A lot of these companies, they’re hiring folks out of need,” he said. “The rates are very low that people are paid and they need to hold on to these guards.”
The security expert also noted that contractors are hesitant follow up on suspicious behavior by one of their staffers.
“When do you step up and say something’s not right?” Goldenberg said. “When you see something that’s not right or you feel it, who do you report it to? And do these companies have a mechanism in place for that purpose? So it’s a real hot topic. And my concern is that we’ve gone so far the other way that people are afraid to speak up.”