Why Was Omar Mateen On A Terror Watch List If He Was Just A ‘Troubled’ Man?

Omar Mateen Myspace handout via Reuters

Scott Greer Contributor
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Capitol Hill witnessed one of the most courageous, super historic events Wednesday night.

Dozens of Democratic lawmakers took it upon themselves to stage a sit-in on the House floor to demand some kind of action on restricting gun ownership.

The publicity stunt was met with an unsurprising level of adoration from the D.C. press corps, who took every opportunity to let everyone know how historic the sit-in was. The protest may have violated House rules and definitely seemed more like the ridiculous antics of campus agitators, but that only made it all the more inspiring to liberal journalists. (RELATED: Occupy The House Floor: Dems Stage Sit-In Over Gun Control Bill)

The impetus for the latest and most childish gun control push comes from the Orlando terror attack which left 49 people dead. The top item on the agenda of the sit-in legislators is barring individuals placed on the federal government’s terror watch list from purchasing firearms. Pretty much everyone can agree that we don’t want known bad guys to have easy access to firepower, but there is that little problem of violating due process.

But the bigger problem for the liberals championing this idea is accepting that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was an Islamic radical who deserved to be on the terror watch list. That goes against the common narrative the media has crafted to explain the shooting without having to mention the word “Islam.” (RELATED: The Left Blames Everything But Radical Islam For Orlando)

Mateen was put on a terror watch list in 2013 because of his past statements indicating sympathy for radical Muslims. He was subsequently taken off the list after a lengthy FBI investigation found he had no concrete ties to terror groups, which means a so-called “no-fly, no-buy” ban would’ve done little in the way of preventing him from buying a gun.

If Democratic lawmakers want to believe that a no-fly, no-buy gun ban would’ve prevented Orlando, then they have to also believe Mateen was serious in his pledge of allegiance to ISIS during his massacre and that his radical statements before the shooting justified him staying on that list.

But that goes against the assumptions of congressional Democrats’ allies in the press corps.

The preferred story goes for Mateen was that he was not a man motivated by Islamist sympathies, but that he was a deeply troubled, self-hating gay man who killed just to vent his personal issues. During his massacre, Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and said his attack was in response to the U.S. bombing Syria and Iraq. Needless to say, there’s a rock-solid case the Orlando shooter shot up a gay nightclub on behalf of jihad.

However, in spite of having a history of expressing support for Islamic terror groups and telling 9-1-1 flat out he was killing in the name of ISIS, the press has refused to accept Mateen at his word.

They’d rather accept the word of Mateen’s alleged gay lover who told Univision the gunman committed violence as revenge against Puerto Rican homosexuals. According to the unverified lover, Mateen had his heart broken by two Puerto Ricans and that’s why he killed — ignore the pledge to ISIS. The interview with the alleged special friend of Mateen was picked up by nearly every major outlet. (RELATED: Orlando Shooter’s Alleged Gay Lover Speaks Out: ‘He Did It For Revenge’)

A Thursday Reuters report publicized the viewpoint of an unnamed government official who claimed the FBI investigation was veering to placing the blame for the attack on Mateen’s “personal problems.”

“It looks increasingly like this may have been the act of a seriously troubled individual whose personal problems dwarfed any last-minute inspiration from radical groups,” the official told Reuters.

As we all know, terrorists are typically 100 percent normal people with no personal issues. Thus, if anyone claiming support for ISIS has some unresolved anger problems, we should see those internal issues as the culprit for the violence instead of their ideological affiliation.

Sarcasm aside, we should be a bit skeptical of the comments coming from anonymous government officials when there’s so much pressure from the White House to take the focus on the attack away from radical Islam. Just take a look at how the transcript of Mateen’s 9-1-1 call redacted all the references to ISIS. Remember how the government labelled Nidal Hasan’s 2009 Fort Hood shooting a case of “workplace violence.”

And the media does its utmost to reinforce the narrative of Mateen’s personal problems as the catalyst for terror.

The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Chris Bedford thoroughly documented the deflection, excuses and outright whitewashing on the part of journalists and government officials to take the Orlando conversation away from radical Islam. Theories thrown out there for the violence include “toxic masculinity” and “concerns with the LGBT community.” All of the articles and statements collected by Bedford fail to mention radical Islam. (RELATED: These Days, It’s Easier For A Guy To Identify As A Woman Than As An Islamic Terrorist)

The media did a similar job with Hasan at the time of his crime, worrying more about his mental state than his links with radical clerics. After the jihadi-inspired attacks on military recruiting offices in Chattanooga last year, prominent papers like The New York Times gave credence to the family of the gunman’s explanation that he just shot Marines because he was “depressed.” There were even a few attempts to paint the San Bernardino slaughter as motivated more by a workplace dispute than ISIS.

The evidence is clear: the liberal elite has a marked reluctance to pin any blame on radical Islam whenever it comes to homeland terrorism. They’d prefer to place the blame on the familiar enemies of guns and America’s oh-so dangerous right-wingers.

But if Mateen was not a real terrorist and didn’t belong on the terror watch list, then what’s the point of passing a bill to prevent fellow non-jihadis from buying a gun? Do Democrats want the qualifications for placement on the terror watch list to include self-hating gay men and those with anger management problems? Or how about anybody who’s been heavily infected by toxic masculinity?

The prevailing argument for the no-fly, no-buy ban is that all the folks who would not be allowed to purchase a gun are probable terrorists. At the same time, the backers of the plan argue everyone who commits terror in the name of Islam did it for other, less terrorist-y reasons. The hypocrisy is easier to understand if you share the sinking suspicion that officials would load up with the terror watch list with political enemies rather than legitimate threats.

When America suffers the worst terror attack since 9/11 and major media outlets scramble to blame everything but radical Islam, we can only wonder what “terrorists” a no-fly, no-by ban would apply to.

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Scott Greer