Los Angeles

Father of Orlando Nightclub Shooter Taped TV Show in Los Angeles

The father of the shooter who opened fire on a crowded nightclub in Orlando used to fly from Florida to Los Angeles every few months to tape an Afghan-themed political commentary TV show, which some say included praise for the Taliban.

Broadcast by satellite out of a strip mall in Canoga Park, Payam-e-Afghan TV was viewed all around the world.

Omar Mateen's father Seddique Mir Mateen, who was born in Afghanistan, would fly into Southern California every couple of months and pay $400 to rent the studio where he taped the show up until a year ago.

The president of the network said Mateen never brought his son Omar to Los Angeles, and never expressed any radical views. But, according to The Associated Press, Mateen's show occasionally included ethnic solidarity with the Afghan Taliban, which is mostly Pashtun.

He also once said he wanted to be president of Afghanistan in an episode.

The network has received some backlash in the wake of the shootings, including a call from somebody pretending to be an investigator.

"[They said] 'Homeland security...we're coming to you to enter your house and I'll search your property and house and take electronics' -- this and that," Omar Khatab, the president of Payam-e-Afghan TV, said. "Just a bogus crank call to intimidate me."

Mateen's father also appeared on another Afghan show Monday, doing a phone interview from Florida. He answered questions from Afghan viewers; most of them expressed sympathy not only for the shooting victims but for the Mateen family as well. 

"On the issue of homosexuality, it can be punished only by God, it is not the business of a person. But he (Omar) has killed those people, and I am so saddened," he added.

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