Monday, 13 June 2016

Omar Mateen

Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 50 people and wounded 53 others at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in June 2016.

The shooting, carried out with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, was the deadliest in American history.

Mateen, 29, was a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent from Port St. Lucie, Florida. He had ties to radical Islamic ideology. He called 911 just before the shooting and pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He also mentioned the Tsarnaev brothers, who carried out the Boston Marathon bombing, during the call.

Mateen was a person of interest in law enforcement investigations in 2013 and 2014. The FBI opened an investigation into Mateen at some point, but closed it “when it produced nothing that appeared to warrant further investigation.”

The FBI interviewed him twice in 2013 after he made suspicious comments about radical Jihadism that were heard by coworkers. He was interviewed a third time, in 2014, based on his connection to Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, an American from Florida who trained in Syria, traveled back to his home state and tried to recruit other Americans, and then went back to Syria, where he blew himself up in a suicide bombing.

There were no open investigations and Mateen was not under surveillance at the time of the shooting.

Mateen died at the scene after he was shot by police at about 5 a.m.. He had barricaded himself in the nightclub after opening fire. Witnesses reported that some of their friends were hiding in dressing rooms and bathrooms, trying to stay safe.

ISIS issued a statement calling Mateen an “Islamic state fighter.”


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