As details continue to emerge surrounding Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, so do the holes in the narrative.
Case in point, last week's statement by the shooter's employer, G4S, the world's largest security company, that he had passed a 2007 psychological text without any problems. The document that G4S submitted to Florida state listed psychologist Carol Nudelman. But after news of the document was reported, by the Miami Herald and other media, Dr. Nudelman, whose last name is now Blumberg, issued a statement saying she hadn’t evaluated any tests for the security company after 2005. The attorney for Nudelman (or Blumberg) added on said Sunday that she did not
live in Florida in September 2006 when the psychological assessment was
Oops. What happened then? Well, as the WSJ reported earlier today, G4S reported that it made a “clerical error” in documents submitted to the state of Florida in 2007 regarding the mental health of Mateen, the gunman whom authorities have named as the person who killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub last week. Specifically, the company said that it listed the wrong name for the psychologist who evaluated a test for Mateen that was required under state law for him to carry a firearm as a security guard.
So here comes the new narrative: G4S said Mateen’s evaluation in September 2007 using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, a common psychological assessment tool, was in fact conducted by a third-party vendor called Headquarters for Psychological Evaluation. The security firm said Mateen had an above-average rating and that he had a favorable recommendation for employment. “Dr. Nudelman’s name appeared on the license as scoring the exam; it was a clerical error,” G4S said.
As previously reported, G4S added that it didn’t conduct a psychological evaluation of Mateen in 2013 after he was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for telling co-workers at a Port St. Lucie courthouse that he had ties to terrorist groups.
G4S said it doesn’t conduct psychological exams of security guards after they are hired. It said that at the time of the FBI investigation Mateen complained that he had made the statements in anger after being harassed by coworkers. “It is not our policy—nor the policy of any security provider or law enforcement agency that we are aware of—to demand psychological exams in such situations,” the company said in a statement.
Perhaps it should have: in a stunning new report emerging this afternoon, Alternet writes that before Omar Mateen gunned down 49 patrons at the LGBTQ Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, "the FBI attempted to induce his participation in a terror plot. Sheriff Ken Mascara of Florida’s St. Lucie County told the Vero Beach Press Journal that after Mateen threatened a courthouse deputy in 2013 by claiming he could order Al Qaeda operatives to kill his family, the FBI dispatched an informant to "lure Omar into some kind of act and Omar did not bite."
While self-styled terror experts and former counter-terror officials have criticized the FBI for failing to stop Mateen before he committed a massacre, the new revelation raises the question of whether the FBI played a role in shifting his mindset toward an act of violence. All that is known at present is that an FBI informant attempted to push Mateen into agreeing to stage a terror attack in hopes that he would fall into the law enforcement dragnet.
We will follow up with more on this fascinating angle but for now we await to see if at least this revised version of G4S's story is true: as the WSJ concludes, a representative for Headquarters for Psychological Evaluation - the company which supposedly was the real one to evaluate Mateen, did not respond for a comment on Sunday.
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