‘Two men kissing’ sparked twisted Orlando shooter to massacre 49 in gay club

A kiss between two men on this day six years ago is reportedly what led twisted Orlando shooter Oman Mateen to massacre 49 people in a gay nightclub.

On June 12, 2016, the 29-year-old stormed Pulse nightclub in Florida and opened fire in what was the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in US history until the 2017 Las Vegas attack.

Mateen was shot dead by police at the scene following a three-hour standoff.

Although there are several theories as to what his overall motivating factor was, his father suggested that one kiss on the day of the horrific attack may have sparked it.

Mir Seddique Mateen told NBC News: "We were in downtown Miami, Bayside, people were playing music. And he saw two men kissing each other in front of his wife and kid, and he got very angry.

"They were kissing each other and touching each other, and he said: 'Look at that. In front of my son, they are doing that.' And then we were in the men's bathroom, and men were kissing each other."

He added: "This had nothing to do with religion."

Another theory is that Mateen himself was actually gay.

NY Daily News reported that an unnamed male classmate of Mateen's from his time in the police academy claimed the shooter asked him out around 2006.

The pair also apparently spent time in gay bars together.

At least four Pulse regulars said they'd seen Mateen in the nightclub on more than a dozen occasions, with one witness claiming he tried to pick up men there.

Other witnesses claimed he was on an array of gay dating sites. Kevin West, who saw Mateen outside Pulse before the shooting, said the shooter had been messaging him on and off via Jack'd for around a year.

When Mateen's sexuality became subject to speculation, his father came out to say he didn't believe his son was gay.

However, Mateen's ex-wife Sitora Yusufiy told a Brazilian TV station that he had "gay tendencies", and that his father had called him gay in front of her.

She also claimed "the FBI asked her not to tell this to the American media".

The FBI cast doubt on the suggestions after investigating them, with sources saying no photographs, text messages, smartphone apps, pornography or cell tower location data suggested Mateen was living a secret gay life.

Instead, the FBI's theory focuses on a series of Facebook posts Mateen made from different accounts just hours before the shooting, vowing to take vengeance on America for airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Mateen identified himself as a "Mujahideen", "Islamic Soldier" and "Soldier of God" in a phone call to 911 during the shooting, and swore allegiance to the then leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He told the negotiator that the US' killing Abu Waheeb – a prominent ISIS soldier – in Iraq the month before the attack "triggered" him, later saying he was "out here right now" due to America's interventions in the Middle East.

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