Radicalization of Omar Mateen04/17

On June 12, 2016, at 2:00 a.m., Omar Mateen–armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and an AR-15 style assault rifle–entered the Pulse nightclub, located in Orlando, Florida, fired over 300 rounds of ammunition, and massacred 49 and wounded 53 members of the LGBT community.

The attack lasted but a few minutes, after which Mateen searched out a covey of patrons who had sought refuge in one of the nightclub’s restrooms, and held them hostage for almost three hours.

During those dark hours, Mateen took time to call 911 and local cable channel 13–and boasted of his alliance to the Islamic State. Moreover, during deliberation with crises negotiations, he reiterated his prideful ledge to ISIS. Mateen’s boastful vows give evidence of his radicalization (rendering a person capable of committing a fanatical act of terror).

One of Omar Mateen’s high-risk radicalization variables was his academic-course failures. His school records show he failed several courses in middle school. And he continued to perform poorly in high school–having problems with English. These course failures debased Mateen’s self-worthiness which contributed to his susceptibility to being radicalized.

Mateen’s high-school records revealed another high-risk radicalization variable, namely, his deviant behavior traits. He lacked self-control, was disruptive in class, was confronting to teachers, and was expelled from school for fighting. He admitted to using marijuana and steroids–drugs known to exacerbate deviant behavior. He attended three different high schools–one of which was an alternative school for students with deviant-behavior problems. And he was diagnosed as a student with mental health issues.

Because of these deviant behavior traits, Mateen was disliked by students and teachers, was bullied, considered “dorky” and experienced feelings of exclusion–all of which are thought to have weakened his “will” and contributed to his susceptibility to being radicalized.

In summary, it seems clear Omar Mateen’s high-risk radicalization variables–academic course failures and deviant behavior traits–were major contributors to his radicalization.

Now behold! These same high-risk radicalization variables may also be found in the nation’s estimated 1.3 million high-school students who fail to graduate every year. And it should be noted, ISIS recognizes that this cohort of students offers a low-cost opportunity to recruit susceptible students to initiate self-sacrificing domestic acts of terrorism; and that ISIS has a long-rage plan to continue their efforts in this regard.

To prevent the high-risk variables leaving high-school students susceptible to being radicalized by ISIS propaganda, you need initiate three major education-intervention initiatives:

  1. Save students from failing academic courses! Empower and prepare teachers to consummate a desirable-classroom-learning environment, wherein students are inspired to come to school in a state of “learning readiness”–and whereby students are assured course content will be relevant, self-initiated student-learning projects will be encouraged, positive-portfolio feedback will be provided, intimidating high-stakes testing mandates will be retracted, and robotic memorization will be precluded.
  2. Thwart the onset of deviant-behavior traits! Actuate a classroom support culture, wherein the virtues of caring, loyalty, camaraderie, engagement, inclusion, self-worthiness … are habituated–and faulty acts of conduct, e.g., bullying, prejudice, bigotry, hatefulness, rejection, exclusion … are disdained.
  3. Americanize students! Introduce a moving American History component presenting and discussing an assembly of documentary videos bringing forth the remarkable historicism of these United States: the courage of the colonial revolutionaries who fought off tyranny and oppression; the wisdom of our founding fathers who gave birth to our freedoms of speech, assembly, religion, and the right to pursue a state of happiness; recovery from the Great Depression; and the nationalism evidenced by the Greatest Generation during WWII (war bonds and paper drives, food rationing, victory gardens, carpools, women building ships and planes, reverence for flag- covered caskets and Gold Star widows, overseas-mailed perfumed love letters, and Veterans Day parades). Presenting and discussing these historic documentaries will give students a memorable understanding and a deep appreciation for their national heritage and perpetuate a “Patriotic Will” impregnable to terrorists’ propaganda attempts.


Intervention components I, II, and III will strengthen students’ resolve to resist ISIS’s recruitment attempts and make a major contribution to our nation’s fight against domestic terrorism.


Omar Mateen's K-12 failure insecurities enabled his domestic terrorist recruitment

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