It is unlikely that either President Obama or the influential Bilderberg Group, who have been meeting this weekend in Dresden, would find this information of great interest, since it is clear from his statement that the terrible shooting in Orlando, Florida will be exploited by Obama, among others, to further a particular agenda for the US in regard to gun laws.
US readers will understand that I personally have an antipathy towards gun ownership as a subject, as it is something that we here in the UK do not have to debate. That decision, for better or worse, was made for us a long time ago and gun culture is alien to most of us English. Despite this, facts must be made known and made widely available when an event such as that which has taken place in Orlando occurs because of the issues it raises with regard to the second amendment in the US.
It is important for the American people that the following information is made widespread. Several news sources are now covering the vital information that Omar Mateen, the man responsible for the killing of at least 50 individuals at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, was a G4S security guard. G4S is the world's largest security company, a British multinational, working with government agencies, including the military and intelligence agencies and corporations, managing security contracts from schools and prisons to nuclear facilities and airports. The following is an official statement by the North American division CEO John Kenning:
“We are deeply shocked by this tragic event. We can confirm that Omar Mateen had been employed by G4S since September 10, 2007. Mateen was off duty at the time of the incident. He was employed at a gated retirement community in South Florida. Mateen underwent company screening and background checks when he was recruited in 2007 and the check revealed nothing of concern. His screening was repeated in 2013 with no findings. We are cooperating fully with all law enforcement authorities including the FBI as they conduct their investigations. In 2013 we learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were subsequently closed. We were not made aware of any alleged connections between Mateen and terrorist activities and were unaware of any further FBI investigations. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the victims of this unspeakable tragedy and their friends and families.”
Within only the last hour, this statement has been pulled from the G4S North American website and no longer appears at the URL where it was posted originally.
|Securing Florida, where their North American headquarters resides, in Jupiter.|
Furthermore, though the assignment to which Omar Mateen was posted would seem to be fairly low level, another employee of G4S has confirmed that Mateen was an armed security officer. That's right! His gun licence and his firearm have almost certainly been supplied for him by the world's largest security firm with acknowledged ties to governmental, corporate, military and intelligence agencies and on the day he was carrying and using both an assault rifle and a pistol.
A CNBC news article makes this clear:
"He was an armed security officer," said a spokesman, David Satterfield. G4S said in a statement that Mateen had been employed by the company since Sept. 10, 2007. Satterfield said G4S was trying to ascertain whether any guns used in the attack were related to Mateen's work. "A lot of that is dependent on what law enforcement is releasing," he said.
An FBI spokesman said on Sunday that FBI agents had twice interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments to co-workers indicating he supported militant groups, but neither interview led to evidence of criminal activity. Satterfield said G4S was still gathering information on any contacts employees or the firm might have had with the FBI regarding Mateen.
Two consequences of this information become immediately apparent, whatever you think about America and guns and its rights and its wrongs.
Guns don't kill people. Brainwashed/radicalised G4S employees do.
Firstly, gun laws would make no difference in this case because we can safely assume that British multinational security companies with responsibility for guarding everything from gated Florida-based retirement communities to nuclear facilities in Nevada would be exempt from them.
Secondly, it must be asked how it can be that a man who has been 'on the radar' of the intelligence agencies, known to have associated with terrorists and/or Islamic extremists can have been allowed to work for the World's largest security company, in an armed capacity, to be given a gun licence and a firearm and neither the company nor the FBI have any problem with this.
The official (now hastily removed) statement, from G4S makes it known that they had knowledge of the fact that Omar Mateen was indeed questioned by the FBI in 2013. Apparently, the FBI dutifully informed them of this fact. Did the agencies and G4S think it wise to leave this man in place despite the fact he was suspected of sympathies for violence and terror. He was 'screened' by G4S in both 2007 (when he was given a contract) and in 2013 (the very year the FBI questioned him).
In 2013, following 'questioning' by the FBI over a matter the subject of which is not disclosed, the FBI's investigations were, to the public knowledge of G4S 'closed'. We are to believe that the one company with truly intimate ties with intelligence agencies were left ignorant of FBI's continuing concerns with Mateen and were told the investigations were 'closed'? G4S say this is what the FBI told them.
Yet the CNBC article makes it clear that the FBI say that they interviewed him in 2013 and 2014. It clearly states:
Smells fishy, no? Why would the FBI not make global partner in intelligence operations, surveillance, crime response unit and armed security force, G4S, 'aware' that Mateen was still being investigated in 2014 and that he has been 'on the radar' of the FBI, under suspicion, presumably, of being, at the very least, a terrorist sympathiser, for the past 3 years?
'An FBI spokesman said on Sunday that FBI agents had twice interviewed Mateen in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments to co-workers indicating he supported militant groups, but neither interview led to evidence of criminal activity.'
This article from 2012 for 'Security Info Watch' makes abundantly clear the fact that interest in armed guard services are 'up' following mass shootings in the US.
In that article, G4S's west region vice president, Robert Bobo said:
There’s a perception out there that’s there’s more liability exposure that may or may not be true, but it goes back to the qualifications of the person you’re putting in those armed positions," he said. "Selecting a person that is a military veteran that has three years of experience as a military police officer and taking that person and training them to be a civilian security officer will carry a lot more weight and reduced liability exposure versus taking someone off the street, training them as an armed guard and putting them in that position."
Another reason that a lot companies eventually decide that armed security is not in the cards for them is due to the fact that there’s simply less licensed armed security officers who cost more to hire than their unarmed counterparts.
"An armed security officer, because of the higher standard and higher training involved, typically can be twice as much or more per hour than an unarmed security officer," Flint said.
People are rightly wondering how it is that Mateen was able to shoot so many people in such a short space of time, with such precision and expertise. Well, if he's an armed security guard, he's been very well trained by G4S for such a task and may have had military training beforehand. Bobo adds that getting a job as an armed security guard with the company is difficult - not easy - because screening and vetting is very stringent and training is very intense.
"The requirements vary state-by-state," said Bobo. "Typically, for an armed security officer, state regulations might require that the person be 21-years-old and they would require the person pass a background check investigation. In addition, they would require that person have completed training, and it’s anywhere for armed guards specifically, between 12 hours to 40 hours based on state regulations and that’s in addition to any additional requirements that might be setup for unarmed. So, it really varies across the country.
Bobo said that G4S’ requirements to become an armed guard are much more stringent than that and that just because someone may pass muster for a state armed guard license doesn’t mean they will meet company standards. In addition to having to have prior experience in law enforcement or the military, Bobo said that G4S armed personnel undergo a minimum of 40 hours of training and that in most cases, they far exceed that.
"It’s our responsibility as an organization to ensure that we’re putting the right talent in those positions," Bobo added. "Our guys are getting anywhere from 50 to 160 hours of training based on the particular organization’s requirements and what they need that person to perform."
This training involves everything from the legal aspects of being an armed to security officer, to reporting responsibilities, firearms qualifications and weapons retention. O’Bryan said that armed guards are also trained on the use of force continuum, understanding behavior triggers in people and how to diffuse a situation through verbal commands.'
|Managing the security of the Pentagon and GCHQ|
Clearly either something in the vetting and screening process either went very wrong - if G4S are innocent parties in this mass murder - or very right, if they are complicit. Either way, public knowledge of Mateen's employment by this truly massive and global surveillance and privately owned, very heavily-armed security firm needs to be broadcast loud and clear. I am yet to see this fact in the British press.
In the ultimate irony in this story, is it really possible that included among the 'law enforcement agencies' who turned up to offer a rapid response unit to the mass shootings at Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando was G4S, the same G4S who, until late 2014, managed 'security' operations at...wait for it...Guantanamo Bay. This is the same company that 'secures' the US nuclear facilities in Nevada and the same outfit whose employee had suddenly gone 'rogue'?
Good Heavens. I suppose with the reach and global presence of this mammoth security firm with responsibility for 'securing' everything from schools to government offices, managing the seas, borders and responsibility for 'combatting human trafficking' while maintaining surveillance operations extending throughout vast regions of the world in alliance with their partners, that's quite a dystopia you could build, especially with the same company managing and securing borders, airports and nuclear facilities. Let's hope and pray, for everybody's sake, that they never build it, because you know, if I were an 'ISIS fighter' or sympathiser who wanted to wreak massive destruction on the West, it's pretty clear which company I'd try getting a job with. Just look at the potential training courses...
|Or anti-heroes, as the case may be...|
It goes without saying that given that G4S manage airport security in Europe and elsewhere, could it not be said that the company is overdue something of a public investigation into their employees potential roles in airplanes that explode in the sky? Or does nobody in Government think that is worthwhile? It is now being alleged by eye-witnesses that the 'off-duty' G4S gunman at the centre of this horrendous tragedy did not act alone. Helpers or colleagues, I wonder?