Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is demanding the Obama Administration quickly provide more information about what it knew about Orlando nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen and his family prior to Sunday’s deadly attack.
In a letter to the State and Homeland Security departments, Grassley is requesting information about Mateen’s contacts with law enforcement and travels abroad, including criminal convictions, travels to the Middle East, presence on terror watch lists, and ability to work for a U.S. government contractor.
“Media reports also allege that Omar Mateen had been a ‘person of interest’ after making statements supporting several terrorist organizations before, was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013 and 2014, and was additionally on the radar of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS),” Grassley writes.
Mateen’s family is also a key component of Grassley’s probe, specifically how they were allowed into the U.S. in the first place.
“Omar Mateen’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, allegedly hosts a program on a California-based satellite Afghan TV station with a pro-Taliban slant,” the GOP chairman writes. “According to reports, he often appears on Facebook wearing a military uniform and declaring himself the leader of a revolutionary sect of the Afghan government.”
The Iowa lawmaker focuses specifically on whether any members of the Orlando terrorist’s family were granted access to the U.S. as refugees.
“Did Mateen’s parents, siblings, or his wife have refugee status? Please provide all documentation related to their application for refugee status,” Grassley writes, adding that if they did not apply for refugee filling, “what types of visas did the parents apply for? What types were they granted?”
In addition to information about Mateen and his family, Grassley is also pressing for more information about Imam Shafiq Rahman of the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, with whom Mateen visited days before the shooting according to the Washington Post.
Grassley adds that he expects the information by Friday.
Over the weekend Mateen, a radical Islamic extremist, murdered 49 people at a nightclub in Orlando, in a shooting now considered the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.