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In the Name of God: The Eternally and Everlastingly Loving and Caring

While it really doesn’t make it any better, knowing something about why the monster Omar Mateen did what he did is still important. And as investigators continue their search for answers, one thing seems to be becoming increasingly clear: 

…intelligence officials and investigators say they’re “becoming increasingly convinced that the motive for this attack had very little — or maybe nothing — to do with ISIS.

That’s according Dina Temple-Raston, reporter for NPR. Speaking on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, she told host Scott Simon:

He was bullied as a kid in school. He had well-documented behavioral problems. He was aggressive toward other kids. As he got older, things didn’t get much better. He took steroids, he jumped from job to job, he had a history of domestic violence. And all these things together fit into a mass shooter’s profile.

The fact that he called several people claiming allegiance to ISIS may be because, as the NPR piece states, he wanted to “garner more publicity for his deadly attack.”

What’s more, the attack may be related to his confused sexuality. Temple-Raston added that investigators are leaning towards this narrative:

Mateen may have had some problems with his sexuality, maybe even had some latent attraction to men. And he lashed out at the gay community as a result.

Other published reports suggest the same thing: 

“This is a hard one to disentangle, but there are three strands,” said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The dominant strand is that he hates gays. Then, there is his personal rage. He doesn’t like his life at all.

“The third strand is Islamist ideology, which is the weakest of the three,” said Potok, whose Alabama-based organization tracks extremists. “It’s almost like an afterthought.”

The FBI initially touted the theory that U.S.-born Mateen was motivated by his support of the notorious Islamic State, which as part of its radical ideology has expressed a visceral hatred for gays. But the portrait has turned far more complicated in the course of a week, with experts now saying Mateen appeared to be driven by a dangerous mix of bigotry, self-loathing and, perhaps, mental illness.

The investigation, of course, is ongoing. But it is becoming increasingly clear that this crime had nothing to do with terrorism and ISIS. Omar Mateen fit the typical profile of a mass shooter, and this time, he happened to be Muslim. 

Does this make what happened any better? Any less tragic? Does this make it hurt any less?

Absolutely not. 

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