March 26, 2018 at 6:51 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Pulse gunman’s father was FBI informant

Seddique Mateen (Screen capture courtesy MSNBC)

The father of the gunman who killed 49 people inside the Pulse nightclub had been an FBI informant for more than a decade.

The Orlando Sentinel on Monday reported attorneys for the gunman’s widow, Noor Salman, disclosed in testimony and court filings that Seddique Mateen was an informant at “various points” between January 2015 and June 2016.

The Orlando Sentinel notes Salman’s attorneys learned Mateen was an FBI informant after Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney emailed them. The newspaper also reported Sweeney said the FBI had also found money transfer receipts to Turkey and Afghanistan that were sent between March 16, 2016, and June 5, 2016.

Mateen’s son opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, during its weekly Latino night. The massacre at the gay nightclub was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history until a gunman killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 others during a country music festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017.

Salman has been charged with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the massacre. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

Media reports also indicate Sweeney told Salman’s attorneys that Mateen has been placed under investigation over the money transfers. U.S. District Judge Paul Byron on Monday denied Salman’s attorneys’ request for a mistrial.

Gunman became ‘very angry’ after seeing men kiss

Mateen told reporters after the massacre that his son had recently become “very angry” when he saw two men kissing in Miami.

The gunman in a 911 call he made from inside the Pulse nightclub pledged his allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. There is no evidence that suggests the militant group prompted him to carry out the massacre.

Mateen and his wife were born in Afghanistan. Their son who carried out the massacre was born in New York.

2016, The Pulse nightclub, gay news, Washington Blade

A makeshift memorial outside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 5, 2016. The trial of the gunman’s widow is underway at a federal courthouse that is roughly two miles away. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)​

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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