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Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50 Dead - The New York Times

A former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mr. Mateen had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews.





Police officers in Orlando, Fla., directing people away from a nightclub where a gunman opened fire early Sunday. Credit Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Photo by: Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Around the time of the massacre, Mr. Mateen called 911 and declared his allegiance to the Islamic State, the brutal group that has taken over parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya, Agent Hopper said. Other law enforcement officials said he called after beginning his assault.



Hours later, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility in a statement released over an encrypted phone app used by the group. It stated that the attack “was carried out by an Islamic State fighter,” according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.



But officials cautioned that even if Mr. Mateen, who court records show was briefly married and then divorced, was inspired by the group, there was no indication that it had trained or instructed him, or had any direct connection with him. Some other terrorist attackers have been “self-radicalized,” including the pair who killed 14 people in December in San Bernardino, Calif., who also proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State, but apparently had no contact with the group.



The Islamic State has encouraged “lone wolf” attacks in the West, a point reinforced recently by a group spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, in his annual speech just before the holy month of Ramadan. In past years, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda ramped up attacks during Ramadan.



American Muslim groups condemned the shooting. “The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence,” said Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.





Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50 Dead - The New York Times

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