Better security could have prevented Orlando nightclub massacre, says gunman's father


The father of a man who shot 49 people dead at a gay nightclub in Florida has said the attack could have been prevented if the club had better security.

His son, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old bodybuilder of Afghan origin, killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night.

Seddique Mateen told Sky News: "The first thing I want to say is that the club should have had good security. The club (with) 300 or 400 people are coming, they should have had a good security.

"My personal feeling (is) he is responsible, the club is responsible for not having good security. If there was a good communication with the security there, they could have protected much better."

His son, who had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State (IS) on the phone to police, was killed by Swat officers when he opened fire after crawling out of a hole made to rescue clubbers.

Vigil for the victims of the Pulse night club shooting
(Yui Mok/PA)

Asked why he thought his son had a gay dating app on his mobile phone, Mateen said he wished his son was alive so he could ask.

"I don't know what he was doing and I wish he did know. I don't know why he was using that, to get there and do something. I wish he was alive so I could ask him," said Mateen.

He added the attack had "nothing to do with religion".

Mateen said: "It has nothing to do with Islam. Those killers, they call it Isis in what I heard in the news. They are not religious people. They use the name of religion for their personal gain."

Vigil for the victims of the Pulse night club shooting
(Matt Rourke/AP/PA)

The White House and the FBI said the gunman, an American-born Muslim, appeared to be a "homegrown extremist" who had touted support not just for IS but other radical groups that are its enemies.

The FBI confirmed that Mateen had come to its attention twice before the attack and had been investigated for 10 months from May 2013 because he had made "inflammatory and contradictory" statements about ties to terrorist groups.

Agents closed the first investigation in early 2014, but Mateen's name came up in a separate FBI investigation in July that year, after he was linked to a Syria suicide bomber.

Vigil for the victims of the Pulse night club shooting
(Loren Elliott/AP/PA)

On Monday LGBT communities across the world gathered for vigils to commemorate the victims.